Johnson, Harry (1894-1987)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

HARRY JOHNSON (A): born at Middleton-on-the-Wolds, East Yorkshire, on the 17th November 1894. His parents were devout Methodists, and he was introduced from his earliest days to the life and worship of the Church. As a youth he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. After a short period of work on a farm he became a railway locomotive fireman. He moved to Bridlington, and it was there that he met Mabel whom he married in 1924, and who was to share, so ably, and over many years, his life and work. The Christian Endeavour played a significant part in his early growth and development in discipleship, and it was through its influence that he first became aware of the call of God to become a preacher. The movement was very dear to his heart, and it was a joy to him to be invited to serve a term as the President of the Yorkshire Federation. 

After being accepted as a candidate for the ministry he trained at Hartley College, and then served in the following circuits: Edinburgh; Hoylake; North Shields; South Shields; Grimsby, Flott; Castletown, Isle of Man; Douglas, Bucks Road, Isle of Man; Cross Hills, Silsden and Cowling; Hoyland and Wombwell; Beverley. 

Wherever he went his gentle, loving concern for people endeared him to young and old alike. The preaching and pastoral aspects of the ministry were his main priorities, and as a teacher and counsellor he was able to draw on his own deep experience of God in offering help to others. He had a keen sense of Christian social responsibility, and served for many years on the connexional committee. His ministry on the Isle of Man took place during the years of the Second World War, and he was appointed an officiating chaplain to the Royal Navy. His home was open to all, and a caring ministry, especially to service men and women, was exercised through it. He was for a time the Chairman of the Isle of Man District. In retirement he continued his work as the Free Church chaplain to the Beverley Hospital in which he served for twenty-five years. 

He died on 8th March 1987, in the ninety-third year of his age and the sixty-seventh of his Ministry.


Harry was born on 17 November 1894 at Middleton on the Wolds, Yorkshire, to parents George, a railway plate layer (1901), and Mary Jane.

The 1911 census records harry working as a railway cleaner at Hessle, Hull, Yorkshire..

He married Mabel Elizabeth Brown (1891-1985) in the spring of 1924 at Bridlington, Yorkshire.

The 1933 Methodist Who’s Who records they had one daughter.

Harry died on 8 March 1987 at Beverley, Humberside.


  • Hartley
  • 1920 Supply
  • 1921 Edinburgh
  • 1924 Hoyland
  • 1925 N Shields
  • 1928 S Shields
  • 1933 Grimsby Flot
  • 1838 Castletown
  • 1941 Douglas Bucks
  • 1946 Cross Hills &c
  • 1950 Hoyland
  • 1953 Wombwell &c
  • 1954 Beverley
  • 1960 Beverley (S)


Methodist Minutes 1987/76

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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