Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference
WILLIAM GEORGE FIELDER, B.E.M.: born in Eastleigh, Hampshire, on 15th September 1899 into a Primitive Methodist home, he was steeped in the tradition of that church. He was educated at the Chamberlayne Boys’ School and started work on the railway before seeing service in the Army in the closing months of the First World War. He became a local preacher when only fourteen years old and, having felt the call to the ministry, served a pre-collegiate year in the East Dereham Circuit. There he met his wife, who gave him loving support for just over fifty years.
He took full advantage of his training at Hartley Victoria College and, though study did not come to him easily, his time in college prepared him for his ministry and developed his outstanding gifts as a preacher. On leaving college he served in the Loughborough and Bolsover Circuits, and then had a long spell in the Lincoln District in the Skegness, Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Spalding and Lincoln (North) Circuits.
A wise and meticulous administrator, he served in the Lincoln District as Secretary of several District Committees and of the Synod. On the wider scene he was Secretary of the Inter-denominational Area Committee. In his pastoral work he served as Hospital, Prison and Forces chaplain, bringing comfort and courage as he stood alongside his people during bombing raids. During World War Il he was awarded the B.E.M. for his service as Assistant Fireguard Officer in Grimsby. lll health forced him to become a supernumerary in 1958. He was told that he would never preach again. His comment was typical: ‘Perhaps they are right, but I have done my best.’
After three years he was back in the pulpit and continued a fine preaching ministry in the King’s Lynn Circuit, to which he had retired, and in neighbouring Circuits. His final move was to Peterborough in 1986, but by then his preaching days were over. He remained a fine example of a Christian minister, recalling a life of faithful service. He died on 15th October 1987 in the eighty-ninth year of his age and the sixty-sixth year of his ministry.
William was born on 15 September 1899 at Eastleigh, Hampshire, to parents William Fielder, a railway signalman, and Ann Aldridge.
He married Constance Miriam R Patterson (1902-1978) in the summer of 1928 at Eastleigh, Hampshire. Birth records identify two children.
- Betty (b1930)
- Austin W (b1943)
William died on 15 October 1987 at Peterborough, Northamptonshire.
- 1921 E Dereham
- 1923 Hartley
- 1925 Loughborough
- 1928 Bolsover
- 1933 Skegness &c
- 1838 Grimsby Flott
- 1945 Cleethorpes Mill
- 1949 Spalding
- 1955 Lincoln Wesley
- 1960 Leicester (S)
Methodist Minutes 1988/32
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers