Curtis, William Harry (1876-1961)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927

Early years

William was born in 1876 at Manningtree, Esssex, to parents William James and Ellen. William, senior, was a brewers agent (1881).

William was apprenticed into the printing trade and became a compositor.

His early home was at Colchester, where William joined the Sunday School at Artillery Street and became a member of the Church in 1893. William began to prepare for the ministry under the influence of Rev S Willetts. He served as village evangelist in the Diss Circuit during the winter of 1896/7 before entering Hartley College in August 1897, where he spent three years.


William served his districts as Temperance and Sunday School Secretary. He also served a term as District Secretary from 1922.

His obituary records that throughout all his ministry he was marked by humility, by fearless advocacy of the whole counsel of God, and by strong leadership in making new ideas serve the Kingdom.

As a preacher he sought to bring his people to decision for Christ, and to be counsellor and friend in Christian fellowship and service. He left rich memories in all his Churches.

During his ministry at Bury St Edmunds he was secretary of the local Free Church Council, and he organized mission services in all the churches of all denominations including the Cathedral.

Most of his retirement was spent at Sandhurst, and he served the Churches of Camberley Circuit with loving devotion.


William married Emily Elizabeth Hunt (1875-1955) in the summer of 1904 at Colchester, Essex.

  • Montgomery Hugh Bourne (1907-1998) – training as a teacher in 1927
  • Kenneth William (1912-1992)

William died on 6 October 1961 at Letchworth, Hertfordshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1900 Ipswich & Hadleigh
  • 1904 Diss
  • 1907 Wisbech
  • 1911 Yarmouth
  • 1915 Downham
  • 1921 Bury St Edmunds
  • 1929 Walton
  • 1935 Felixstowe (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927/688

Methodist Minutes 1962/193

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference.

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