Marsh, Henry Willie (1885-1958)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

HENRY WILLIE MARSH: born at Cambridge in 1884. Influenced as a boy by the fervent Primitive Methodist tradition of his home, he felt drawn to the Church which became his life. He began his career as a school-teacher, but later together with his two brothers, the Revs. Dr. H.G. Marsh and A.J. Marsh, he entered the Primitive Methodist Ministry. 

After training at Hartley College, Manchester, he began his ministry at Horwich. Thereafter he served most faithfully in the following circuits: Rochdale, Great Yarmouth, Aylsham, Ramsey (Isle of Man), Cockermouth, Whitehaven, Wisbech, Dawley, and Droxford. 

He possessed  remarkable gifts of Scriptual exposition and of evangelical fervour. His master passion was the winning of souls for Jesus Christ. He believed in the value of the pastoral office and exercised that ministry to the full in the homes of his people. He was always a most welcome visitor, for he loved people with sincere affection and entered fully into their joys and sorrows. In all his circuits he was greatly beloved as a fine Christian minister who was unassuming, courteous, lovable, and utterly friendly. His spirit was alight with gracious fellowship, his mind was richly stored from wide reading, and his heart was filled with God. 

His retirement took place in 1953 at Wickham, where his truly devotional spirit was disclosed both in his preaching and in his prayers. He was the enthusiastic secretary of the Fareham Ministers’ Fraternal, and he took an active interest in the work of the local Boy Scouts and of the Youth Club. He was called home suddenly after attending the Fareham Circuit Rally, where his last words at the tea-table were, ‘We are always strongest when we are driven to our knees in prayer’. In the eyes of his friends this was a fitting end to the ministry of a devoted man who could not be happy out of the service which was his life and his delight. 

He died on 25 June 1958, in the seventy-fourth year of his age and the forty-fifth of his ministry.


Henry was born on 17 September 1885 at Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, to parents Arthur Marsh, a painter and paper hanger (1891), and Caroline Jackson Bidwell. 

He married Sybil Elliott Hame (1901-1977) in early 1923 at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Birth records identify one child.

  • Muriel Gwendoline (1924-1977) – married Paul R Billett in 1945

Henry died on 25 January 1958 at Wickham, Hampshire.

Sybil married Charles G Stalley in early 1959.


  • Hartley
  • 1913 Manchester I
  • 1915 Horwich
  • 1917 Rochdale
  • 1921 Yarmouth I
  • 1924 Aylsham
  • 1928 Ramsey
  • 1933 Cockermouth
  • 1937 Whitehaven How
  • 1940 Wisbech
  • 1946 Dawley &c
  • 1949 Droxford
  • 1953 Wickham (S)


Methodist Minutes 1959/175

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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