Smith, Harry (1905-1973)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

HARRY SMITH: born at Louth, Lincolnshire, in 1905. He was accepted for the Primitive Methodist Ministry in 1930, having previously spent a time as a hired local preacher in the Masham Circuit. After training at Hartley College he was on the President’s list for a year which took him to Tunstall. From there he continued his ministry in Thetford, Birmingham (Small Heath), Redcar, Saltburn and Guisborough, Brandon and Deerness Valley, South Bank and Eston, Knaresborough, Weardale, and finally Leeds (Rothwell). 

The early training of a Christian home and country life developed within him the qualities which made his ministry such a blessing to so many. As a preacher he was faithful in his calling, careful in preparation, eschewing easy methods of popularity. He told in plain, direct language, “the Word of the Lord”. As an administrator he was meticulous about detail without losing grasp of the whole. He was ever ready to take on extra work to make sure a job really was done. But it was as a pastor and friend that he is especially remembered. He knew his people because people mattered to him. His utter trustworthiness meant that he carried burdens which were not his own to an extent that only those intimately concerned knew. 

As a hospital chaplain he exercised an influence that permeated the whole hospital and which reached staff and patients alike, There was a graciousness about him which sprang from a belief in the true dignity of human nature, from a desire never to hurt any of God’s little ones and from a deep sense of all that he himself owed to the grace of God. 

A heart attack in 1967 enforced an early retirement, but he recovered sufficiently to be able to continue to serve the Rothwell Circuit, which owes its rebuilt circuit chapel largely to his organising, He died somewhat unexpectedly, after a further heart attack, on 25th October, 1973 in the sixty-eighth year of his age and the forty-first year of his ministry.


Harry was born on 13 February 1905 at Louth, Lincolnshire, to parents Harry Osborne Smith, a farmer, and Fanny Lammiman.

He married Mary Broadley Swales Ousbey (1900-1976) in the summer of 1937 in the Wensleydale Registration District, Yorkshire.

Harry died on 25 October 1973 at Rothwell, Leeds, Yorkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1933 President’s List
  • 1934 Thetford
  • 1937 Birmingham Small H
  • 1940 Redcar &c
  • 1945 Brandon &c
  • 1948 South Bank &c
  • 1954 Knaresborough
  • 1959 Weardale
  • 1962 Leeds Roth
  • 1969 Leeds (S)


Methodist Minutes 1974/155

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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