Ruston, James Edward (1892-1960)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JAMES EDWARD RUSTON: born at Norton-le-Moors, Staffs., in 1892. He often referred to his birthplace as being ‘under the shadow of Mow’, for he loved Mow Cop as the historic shrine of Primitive Methodism, the Church which accepted him for the Ministry. He received his theological training at Hartley College, and then there followed a term of service at the South East London Mission, an appointment which made a great impression on him, and gave him a deep concern for the unprivileged. 

After this London appointment his circuits were all in the North: Seaton Delaval, Leigh, Brough, Iirkby Stephen, Whitehaven, Haltwhistle, Settle, Morley, Castleford, Cleckheaton, Redcar, Saltburn, and Guisborough. 

He will be remembered as a good preacher and a faithful pastor. He was keenly interested in young people, and his love of sport often proved a key to their hearts. He was a diligent student and kept abreast of theological development. He was particularly fond of biography and was a lover of poetry.

His later years were shadowed by loneliness, and he was alone when the end came. His passing was sudden; he was found sitting in his chair with the ‘wireless’ switched on, but his spirit had departed. He died on 12 March 1960, in the fortieth year of his ministry and the sixty-seventh year of his age.


James was born on 14 March 1892 at Norton le Moors, Staffordshire, to parents William H Ruston, an ironworker (1891), and Sarah Andrews.

Before entering the ministry James worked as a stationary engiineman (1911).

He married Ethel May Newman (1896-1969), a nurse, in the spring of 1924 at Burslem, Staffordshire. Birth records identify two children.

  • Olive (b1926)
  • Donald (1930-2008) – a police officer (1960)

James died on 12 March 1960 at Guisborough, Yorkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1920 Supply
  • 1921 London Mission SE
  • 1924 Seaton Delaval
  • 1927 Leigh
  • 1932 Brough
  • 1933 Kirby Stephen
  • 1937 Whitehaven Low
  • 1940 Haltwhistle
  • 1944 Settle
  • 1948 Morley Ebenezer
  • 1954 Castleford
  • 1956 Spen valley
  • 1959 Redcar


Methodist Minutes 1960/196

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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