Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference
CHARLES WALTER BOWDLER HEMSHALL: born in Coppenhall, Cheshire, on 1st May 1899. He was brought up in the Coppenhall Methodist Church and it was there that he began his local preaching at the age of sixteen. Soon afterwards he became a sea cadet in the Navy, in which he spent the remainder of the First World War. After the war he did youth work in North Wales and was then accepted for the Primitive Methodist ministry and entered Hartley College in 1921. After leaving college he served in the Market Rasen Circuit and it was during this time that he responded to a call from the Church for missionary volunteers. He was appointed to the Central Africa District and worked in the area that is now Zambia.
Returning from Africa he served in a variety of circuits in different parts of the country. In them all a simplicity of faith, a whimsical spirit and a deep devotion to the work of the ministry marked all that he did. He loved his Lord and it was his joy to commend him in his preaching with engaging sincerity. His genuine humility, his musical abilities and his faithful discharge of administrative and pastoral responsibilities brought comfort, encouragement and guidance to many. As a Superintendent he is remembered by his colleagues for his unaffected friendship and generous concern.
He became a supernumerary in 1964 and the following year settled in Taunton where he continued to serve the Church and build new friendships. He was married twice, to Doris Parry of Tintern in 1953, who died in 1971, and then to Dorothy Spurway in 1974. After many months of increasing weakness, in which he was lovingly cared for by his wife, he died peacefully in Halse Manor Hospital, Taunton, on 19th March 1977 in the seventy-eighth year of his age and in the fifty-fourth year of his ministry.
Charles was born on 1 May 1899 at Coppenhall, Cheshire, to parents Edward Bowdler and Amelia Heginbothom. I have not been able to identify when or why he added the surname Hemshall.
He married Doris Irene Parry (1907-1971) in early 1953 in the Chepstow Registration District, Monmouthshire.
He married Dorothy Lilian Spurway (1909-2004) in the summer of 1974 at Taunton, Somerset.
Charles died on 19 March 1977 at Taunton, Somerset.
- 1924 Central Africa
- 1926 Scotter
- 1927 Pillowell
- 1928 Hurstbourne Tarrant
- 1929 Barton on Humber
- 1932 Brotton
- 1933 Malmsbury
- 1935 Frome
- 1938 Stroud &c
- 1941 Malton
- 1942 Sutton &c
- 1943 Pudsey &c
- 1944 Grantham
- 1946 Chesterfield Mt Zion
- 1948 Pontypool Eastern Valley
- 1949 Blyth &c
- 1950 Supernum
- 1953 Pontytpool Park Terrace (Ac)
- 1956 Towcester
- 1958 Pembroke
- 1961 Tipton Bell St
- 1964 Williton (S)
Methodist Minutes 1977/69
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers