Dolling, William (1901-1955)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

WILLIAM DOLLING: born at Wolverton, Bucks, in 1901. After a period at Cliff College, he was accepted for the Primitive Methodist ministry in 1923, trained at Hartley College from 1925 to 1927, and then at Livingstone College for a short missionary medical course before going to Fernando Po, West Africa, for five years. 

On his return he travelled in the Craven Arms and Brinkworth circuits before entering the Army chaplaincy service for the duration of the war. The Scunthorpe and Winterton circuit, followed by Aylesbury, and lastly Tonbridge, where he laboured for twenty months, were his post-war spheres of service, and in them he leaves an inspiring memory of devoted discipleship. 

He was a man whose quiet reserve concealed a real strength of purpose and a genuine interest in men. The way in which he came to his last circuit, faced its difficulties with courage, and by his determination not to be daunted by them began to give a positive lead, was a mark of his spiritual stature. His devotion to his Lord and his Church enabled him to size up unerringly the calibre of men and to gain the loyal support of the real workers. He could assess quickly the need of a circuit, and he resolutely proceeded to meet that need, especially in the matter of amalgamation or new development, despite the heavy additional burdens it laid upon him. 

He had an easy way with young people and with children. His work among young men as a wartime Army chaplain was one of the most satisfying periods of his ministry, and he was never happier than with adolescents or among toddlers. His preaching was a sound and feeding ministry, his administration was thorough and far-sighted, and his colleagueship a real gift of deepening friendship. 

He served his Church faithfully for thirty years, till, on 6th May 1955, he entered the highest service in the fifty-fourth year of his age.


William was born on 12 June 1901 at Wolverton, Buckinghamshire, to parents Harry, a brass finisher and Ellen.

He married Catherine Gunn Munro (1899-1985) of Inverness. Birth records identify four children.

  • John S (b abt1933)
  • Roberta E (b 1934)
  • William A (b 1934)
  • Peter M (b abt1936)

William died on 6 May 1955 at Tonbridge, Kent.


  • 1923 Market Rasen
  • 1924 Ipswich & Hadleigh
  • 1925 Hartley
  • 1927 Fernando Po
  • 1932 Craven Arms
  • 1934 Ludlow
  • 1937 Brinkworth
  • 1940 Chaplain H.M. Forces
  • 1945 Scunthorpe &c
  • 1948 Aylesbury


Methodist Minutes 1955/140

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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