Melton, David William (1907-1974)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

DAVID WILLIAM MELTON: born in Ipswich on 27th February 1907 into a strong Methodist family. He grew up in the fellowship of the Rope Walk Primitive Methodist Church. After completing his secondary education he served in banking where he was to meet his bride. He had cherished a desire since a lad to be a preacher; his offer for the ministry found acceptance in 1926 and training began at Hartley College. 

He then served in the following circuits: Abertillery, Portland, Frome, Radstock and Coleford, Hitchin, Staines and Feltham, Northampton (Kettering Road), Teddington, London Mission (Broomwood and Clapham), and Luton. It was in Hitchin that the beginning of rheumatoid arthritis was recognised, the development of which was to be a cause of personal frustration and physical limitation. Only a man of supreme discipline, courage and patience could have continued to meet the demands of an active ministry. In every circuit he helped himself and his members by his example and compassion and discovered for himself the power of faith in the healing of man. 

During the war years his membership of the Methodist Peace Fellowship revealed his hatred of war and his devotion to reconciliation. He ministered to military personnel and prisoners-of-war with as much pastoral concern as to the conscientious objector. The Anglican background of his wife helped him to appreciate strict devotional discipline that found expression in his association with the Methodist Sacramental Fellowship. He held Socialist principles and was in no doubt that the Christian Faith was essential to make them practical in modern society. 

He looked back with pride to his ministry at Teddington and Clapham where his efficiency and diligence found expression in building programmes, but it was Northampton to which he returned on retirement. He proved himself a wise counsellor and a redoubtable fighter for the right. His philosophy knew no sectarian boundaries for there was a largeness about his personality that made it possible for him to enjoy the friendship of those whose churchmanship differed from his own. He was a good and loyal colleague, encouraging and brotherly. 

He died on 13th November 1974 in the sixty-eighth year of his age and the forty-seventh year of his ministry.


David was born on 27 February 1907 at Ipswich, Suffolk, to parents William a council road foreman (1911), and Hannah.

He married Beatrice Mary Driver (1903-1988) in the spring of 1932 at Ipswich, Suffolk. Birth Records identify three children.

  • Veronica Eunice Mary (b1933)
  • Rachel E (b1936)
  • Ruth E (b abt1939)

David died on 13 November 1974 at Northampton, Northamptonshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1928 Abertillery
  • 1930 Portland
  • 1932 Frome
  • 1935 Hitchin
  • 1938 Staines &c
  • 1945 Northampton Kettering
  • 1950 Teddington
  • 1955 London M Broom
  • 1964 Luton
  • 1970 Northampton (S)


Methodist Minutes 1975/181

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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