Dain, Major (1877-1950)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

MAJOR DAIN: a son of the manse, was born at Rochdale in 1877. He relinquished a promising business career, and was accepted for the Primitive Methodist Ministry in 1904. After training at Hartley College, he commenced his ministry at Harrow, and then moved to Newtown. But, born a Lancastrian, it is not surprising that the majority of his circuits thereafter were in the County Palatine. 

He served as a Chaplain in the First World War in Mesopotamia and Salonika, where his manliness and friendliness qualified him to fulfil a helpful and effective ministry among the troops. The strain of that service, together with his unsparing devotion in all his succeeding circuits, took severe toll of his health. However, he persisted in the itinerancy, contrary to medical advice, until his retirement in 1948. Even then his ardour found an opportunity in active supernumeraryship in the Southport (South) circuit, where his genial and vigorous ministry greatly enriched and stimulated the two churches of which he had the oversight. 

A wise and capable administrator, an enlivening preacher, a persuasive leader of his people, a cheerful and faithful pastor, he retained a youthful enthusiasm to the end. Sincerity was the climate of his spirit. In the contacts outside the church, the integrity of his spirit commended the religion he professed and the Master he served. Strong in conviction and courageous in utterance, his sturdy independence and forthrightness influenced hard-headed Lancashire men. He passed away, after a very brief illness, on the 9th September 1950, in the seventy-third year of his age and the forty-fifth of his ministry.


Major was born on 9 October 1877 at Rochdale, Lancashire, to parents Benjamin Dain and Eliza Wildish.

The 1901 census return describes Major as a bank clerk.

He married Bessie Eva Lee (1888-1941) in the summer of 1910 at Northwood, Middlesex. Records identify two children.

  • Sheila M (1915-1957) – a dress designer (1939); married Raymond G Power in 1956
  • Ian Major (1918-2004) – baker (1939)

Major died on 9 September 1950 at Southport, Lancashire.


  • Hartley
  • 1906 Harrow & Norwood
  • 1907 Newtown
  • 1910 Skelmersdale
  • 1918 Aldershot, CF
  • 1920 Wigan
  • 1924 Bury II
  • 1925 Manchester XII
  • 1933 M/c Chorlton
  • 1934 Bolton, Higher Bridge St.
  • 1937 Macclesfield
  • 1939 Stoke-Burslem
  • 1944 Skelmersdale
  • 1948 Southport (S)


Methodist Minutes 1951/122

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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