Smith, Herbert William (1884-1958)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

HERBERT WILLIAM SMITH: born at Hampstead in 1884. He was educated at Central Foundation School, City Road, London, and at King’s College, London. He was accepted for the Primitive Methodist Ministry in 1907 and trained at Hartley College. He served at Swindon, Bournemouth, Salisbury, Richmond (Surrey), Bromley Common, Peel, Leicester, and Worksop. 

During the first World War he served as a chaplain for two years at Bulford Camp, and for a further two years in Italy with the Honourable Artillery Company. During this latter period he was mentioned in dispatches for gallantry. 

On demobilization he returned to his circuit at Richmond where he remained for seventeen years. He played an influential part in the life of the town and was invited to stand as their Member of Parliament. He declined because he felt his first duty was to his Church. 

His next circuit was Bromley Common, where he built a school hall at Orpington. After this he retired under doctor’s orders, but at the end of twelve months he returned to the active work and served for another eight years, finally retiring in 1945. 

He was a gifted linguist and kept up his studies in Greek and Hebrew. He had outstanding gifts of organization and leadership, and his personality was such that he made many friends wherever he went. He continued to preach throughout his retirement, his services being in constant demand in several denominations, but particularly among the Presbyterians.

He passed away peacefully on 27 October 1958 in the seventy-fourth year of his age and the fifty-first of his ministry.


Herbert was born on 12 April 1884 at Hampstead, London.

He married Mabel Madeleine Mincher (1883-1960) in the summer of 1912 in the Fulham Registration district, London. Mabel was a daughter of Rev. William Mincher. Birth records identify one child.

  • Marjorie Yvonne Mincher (1915-1983) – an institutional housekeeper (1939); married Norman W. Standing in 1940

Herbert died on 27 October 1958 in the Canterbury Registration District, Kent.


  • Hartley
  • 1907 Swindon II
  • 1911 Bournemouth I
  • 1913 Wilton
  • 1916 Richmond
  • 1933 Penge &c
  • 1936 Supernum
  • 1937 Peel, Christchurch
  • 1939 Leicester Hinckley
  • 1944 Worksop Zion
  • 1945 Whitstable (S)


Methodist Minutes 1959/183

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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