Poulsom, Alfred, M.M. (1887-1969)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ALFRED POULSOM, M.M.: born in Hull on 27 January 1887, he spent his childhood and youth in that city. He became a ‘Hired Local Preacher’ in the Driffield Primitive Methodist Circuit in 1912. He was then accepted for the Ministry and went to Hartley College for three years. In 1915 he volunteered as a Red Cross Worker in the R.A.M.C. and had the great distinction of being awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. He was taken prisoner of war in March 1918. Escaping from the prisoner of war camp he narrowly avoided being executed. The news of the Armistice arrived just in time to prevent the fatal shot. 

After his war service, he served in the following circuits: Brigg, Swinefleet, Patrington, Hull East, Driffield, Filey, Withernsea. The years of the Second World War found him active as Chaplain to the Forces in the Driffield area. He also took part in the work of the W.V.S. and Y.M.C.A. for the welfare and comfort of the Armed Forces. In 1946 he was made an Honorary Life Member of the British Red Cross. 

An essentially simple and humble man, he was never happier than when fulfilling his pastoral duties in the homes of his people, especially in the villages of the East Riding. Retiring in 1954 he settled at Ottringham in the Withernsea Circuit. Here he continued the work he loved, preaching regularly and helping pastorally in the village of Ottringham. It was a source of satisfaction to him that right to the end he was able to preach the gospel of his Lord—and sing it, for he was gifted with a great power of song. 

He died suddenly on Tuesday, 18 February 1969, in the eighty-third year of his age and the fifty-fourth of his ministry.


Alfred was born on 27 January 1887 at Hull, Yorkshire, to parents William, an iron driller, and Alice.

The 1911 census return describes Alfred as an iron driller in engineering. In 1901 he had been described as a plumber, aged 14.

He married Hilda Downs (1889-1957) in the spring of 1919 at Hull, Yorkshire. Birth records identify two children.

  • Clifford (1920-2001)
  • Edmund (1924-1986)

Alfred died on 18 February 1969 at Ottringham, nr Withernsea, Yorkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1915 H.M. Forces
  • 1919 Brigg
  • 1923 Swinefleet
  • 1929 Partington
  • 1934 Hull Holderness Road
  • 1940 Driffield
  • 1945 Filey Ebenezer
  • 1952 Withernsea
  • 1954 Withernsea (S)


Methodist Minutes 1969/202

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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