Hadwen, Harold (1900-1982)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

HAROLD HADWEN: born on 11th December 1900 at Mapperwell. His parents were Primitive Methodists. On leaving school at fourteen, he worked in the pit, an experience which made him “left” in outlook, always the champion of the underdog. He was a candidate for the ministry in 1924 and served two pre-collegiate years in Colchester. After training at Hartley College, where Dr. Peake became his great hero, he served in the following circuits: Portsmouth, West Monmouth Mission, Cardiff (Penarth and Barry), Hitchin, Neath and Port Talbot, Glasgow (Whiteinch), Motherwell, and Dundee and Perth, retiring to Flackwell Heath in the High Wycombe Circuit. 

For the latter half of his life, due to increasing blindness, he was dependent on his wife Margaret Eleanor, née Webb, whom he met when leading a party at a holiday centre. She was his guide, reader, helpmate and nurse. Together they sustained a remarkable ministry. His congregations had no reason to suppose that he could not see; he recited his lessons and was utterly dependent on his wonderful memory. Not wanting sympathy to come between his listeners and his message, he was reticent to admit to his blindness. He was a good preacher and a devoted pastor. He will be remembered wherever he served for the help and encouragement he gave to young preachers, both ministerial and lay. There are men in the ministry who acknowledge with gratitude the hours of tuition he gave them when they were candidates. On retirement he acted as tutor to the local preachers in the High Wycombe Circuit and continued to preach until age and infirmity made it impossible. 

His wife died on 29th July 1982. Harold lived on for a few days until 19th August, when he died in the eighty-second year of his life and the fifty-fifth year of his ministry.


Harold was born on 11 December 1900 at Mapplewell, Yorkshire, to parents John Wesley Hadwen, assistant superintendent  of life assurance (1911), and Drusilla.

He married Margaret Eleanor Webb (1899-1982) in the summer of 1931 in the Amersham Registration District, Buckinghamshire.

Harold died on 19 August 1982 at the Katherine Knapp Home for the Blind, Penn, Buckinghamshire.


  • 1924 Colchester
  • 1926 Hartley
  • 1929 Portsmouth
  • 1931 Blackwood
  • 1933 W Monmouth
  • 1936 Cardiff
  • 1939 Hitchen
  • 1944 Neath &c
  • 1947 Glasgow Whiteinch
  • 1952 Motherwell
  • 1959 Dundee &c
  • 1965 High Wycombe (S)


Methodist Minutes 1983/64

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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