Dando, William Charles (1876-1904)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference by J Kinnish

W. CHARLES DANDO.— With tragic suddenness the news of Wm. Charles Dando’s death came to those who knew him. He was born at Radstock, Somersetshire, in the summer of ’76 of Christian parents, his father, Mr. Charles Dando, being a local preacher and steward of our Midsomer Norton circuit. From infancy Charles was under the play of religious influences, and it is not surprising that in his early years he showed strong leanings towards the service of God. These boyish longings were quickly observed by the father, and he wisely urged his son to begin at once to live for God. Though but ten years of age, he at once joined a society class, and the piety of his early life, as well as the great promise of usefulness he even then manifested led to his being brought forward as a local preacher ere he had reached his sixteenth year. He fulfilled the high hopes of his friends, and at the age of nineteen was recommended for our ministry. 

In his preparatory studies. he was considerably helped by the Rev. J. Shenton.  Accepted by the Conference of 1896, he entered College the same year, and speedily won the admiration and love of teachers and students alike. Prof. Peake, referring to Mr. Dando’s college days, said, ‘He was a student of that kind which made a teacher’s heart glad. There was in all his work an earnestness, a conscientiousness, a devotion, a consecration of which they could not speak too highly. He was a model and example to all his fellows in the earnestness with which he undertook the duties that fell to his lot. Not only was he a diligent and earnest student, but he displayed then the great gifts which they knew quite well were destined to bring him to the front rank. There was not one of us in College who doubted that if life and health were given to him, there was nothing that would keep him from the front rank of our ministry.’ 

His ministry at Bournemouth, where he spent the whole of his probation, confirmed the expectations formed of him as a student. Though at first he met with a little opposition, on account of the freshness of his thought and his living presentation of the truth, soon his people realized that in their young minister they had a man of exceptional ability, who could think for himself and express his thought in no uncertain fashion. Nor were his talents known only to the Primitive Methodists of the town. He quickly won the confidence of the local Free Churchmen, and they recognized his administrative ability by appointing him secretary of the Unsectarian Schools, which were opened during his ministry. 

Having finished his probation, the Conference of 1902 appointed him to superintend the Newton and  Hyde Circuit. Here again his great gifts as a preacher were quickly perceived, and the friends recognised that their young superintendent was a man far above the average. His first concern was the Sunday services, and to the congregations who assembled to worship he gave of his best. His sermons were carefully prepared and well thought out, never betraying haste or insufficient preparation. Two aims at least were ever before him, which coloured his preaching, and affected his methods; he sought to deepen the spiritual life of the circuit, and he endeavoured to lay hold of the men, and to them he appealed the most.

His gifts were recognised outside our own churches in Hyde, and he was rapidly obtaining a place in the hearts of his fellow-citizens. The magnificent assembly which gathered around him as he stood up to defend his action as a Passive Resister was eloquent of the esteem in which his townsmen held him. 

The end came with startling suddenness to all but a very few of us who were privileged to be with him almost to the end. An attack of influenza, which compelled him to stay indoors on Thursday, Jan. 14th, 1904, revived an old ear trouble. In spite of all that medical skill could accomplish, aided by the loving and constant attention of his devoted young wife, we could not retain him. On Monday, Jan, 25th, he was operated upon as a last resource, but meningitis set in, and he died an hour after the operation. Prior to the interment at the Hyde Borough Cemetery, on Jan. 30th, the funeral service was held in Rosemount Chapel, the Revs. T.H. Hunt, J. Yearsley, W.S. Howlett, A.L. Humphries, M.A., J. Ferguson, B.D., and J. Kinnish—the deceased’s colleague, taking part. The Rev. J.H. Taylor, M.A., gave a beautiful address. The route from the chapel to the cemetery was lined with a reverent crowd, and at the graveside a large number of people were gathered. Here the service was taken by the Revs. J. Kinnish, Castle Ross, and G.A. Lucas. On the following Sunday evening a memorial service was held in the Rosemount Chapel, conducted by the Rev. J. Kinnish. Prof. Peake, M.A. preached and in the course of an eloquent address, based on the words, ‘Death shall be no more,’ paid a splendid tribute to the memory of his late student and friend. The chapel was crowded, and a deep sense of loss was manifest throughout the whole service. 

In the death of W. Charles Dando the Primitive Methodist Church has lost a devoted son, a brilliant preacher, and a high-souled man. How severe the loss felt by her whom he made his bride in the spring of the previous year and by his parents, words cannot express. How true a friend and colleague he was, loyal, generous, and noble, without a trace of meanness, too honourable himself to be suspicious. But now he is no longer with us in the flesh, for God has taken him home. Writing of him in the ‘Rosemount Magazine ’—a magazine which he was mainly instrumental in establishing, Professor Peake says, ‘Gone is that lofty soul, but that intrepid courage, that strenuous activity, that penetrating intellect, that consuming passion, have not ceased to be. Released from earth’s fetters they have won a fitter and ampler sphere. He remains a beautiful and an inspiring memory. Death has disengaged him from earth’s poor expression and given him back to us, a radiant spirit. He lives with a joy, an intensity of experience which we cannot realize till we also pass within the veil. He rests in God’s bosom, he who in spirit has rested there so long. He dwells in the secret place of the Most High. Still his heart yearns for those who are left behind, still he remembers us and watches with keen interest how we run our Christian course.’

Family

William was born in 1876 at Radstock, Somerset, to parents Charles, an insurance agent, and Sarah Jane.

He married Annie Amelia Turley (1876-1949) in the spring of 1903 in the Christchurch Registration District, Hampshire.

William died on 25 January 1904 in the Chorlton Registration District, Lancashire.

Following William’s death Annie married Herbert Lancaster, a PM minister, in the summer of 1908.

Circuits

  • Hartley
  • 1898 Bournemouth
  • 1902 Newton & Hyde

References

PM Minutes 1904/15

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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