Pinker, Martin Wallis O.B.E. (1893-1980)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

MARTIN W. PINKER, OBE: born at Blackpool in 1893, he served as a young man in the First World War in India, after which he entered the ministry of the Primitive Methodist Church and was ordained in 1922. In 1929 he was released from pastoral work and became Organising Secretary of the Discharged Prisoners’ Aid Society at Strangeways Prison, Manchester and later General Secretary of the National Association of Discharged Prisoners’ Aid Societies. When this Association was abolished he became Director of the Men’s Division Central After Care Association — an officially funded body. 

In the late 1950s he went to Canada and played a considerable part in the development of penal policy there as Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Treatment of Offenders from 1959-73. For a time he was also Chairman of the Ontario Training Schools Advisory Board. Altogether he devoted almost 50 years to the care and treatment of offenders to each he brought compassion, a considerable administrative flair and vast experience. 

He was married and had a son and daughter. He was awarded the OBE in 1957. He died in March 1980 in the eighty-seventh year of his age and the sixty-second year of his ministry.


Martin was born 11 April 1893 at Worthing, Sussex, to parents Douglas Collyer Pinker, a stone mason (1891), and Amelia Jane Wallis.

The 1911 census return records Martin as a shop assistant.

He married Lilian Hannah Eccles (b1895) in the summer of 1922 at Blackpool, Lancashire. Birth records identify two children.

  • Doreen Ruth Eccles (b1923) – married Fenwick Perry Place, a bricklayer (1939), in 1945
  • Donovan Frederick Douglas (1926-2012) – a surveyor (1956)

Martin died in March 1980.


  • Hartley
  • 1918 Supply
  • 1921 Kennington Park
  • 1922 Chatham
  • 1923 Lymm
  • 1930 Prisoners Aid S
  • 1958 Supernum
  • To Canada


Methodist Minutes 1983/92

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: The obituary is incorrect in stating that Martin was born at Blackpool.

Comments about this page

  • Karen,

    Thank you for your update on Donovan’s occupation.
    The information above is a report of occupation at a particular time in his career. The specific reference is the passenger list in July 1956 travelling on the Saxonia from Liverpool to Montreal.

    By Geoff Dickinson (12/11/2020)
  • Correction: Donovan Pinker was an Urban Planner, not a surveyor

    By Karen Pinker (12/11/2020)

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