Smith, Joseph Riddell (1888-1962)

Transcription of Obituary in Minutes of Methodist Conference

Born at High Angerton, Northumberland, in 1888. He was trained for the Ministry at Hartley College, and was known there as a conscientious student and an original thinker who could express his views with clarity and forcefulness.

In the first World War he served in the R.A.M.C., and afterwards he travelled in Biddulph, Tunstall, Newcastle, Burnley, Glasgow, Maryport. Sandbach, Ebbw Vale. Bingley and Ashton-under-Lyne.

He retired to Sandbach in 1959. His ministry was a devoted one, and he was a most likeable and gifted man.

His pastoral work was marked by kindness and sympathy, and he never spared himself in visiting and caring for his people. He had the common touch and made many contacts outside the Church.

He was widely read and was a keen student of social problems and world affairs, and both his preaching and his contributions to study groups were interesting and challenging.

He was a skilful administrator, an able and thoughtful superintendent, and a careful organizer, whose wisdom and tact was instrumental in promoting circuit amalgamations. But most of all he  excelled as a preacher of the Gospel, whose deep knowledge and scholarly exposition of the Scriptures made him universally acceptable.

He died on 9 February 1962, in the seventy-fourth year of his age and the forty-sixth of his ministry.

©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1962


Joseph was born on 12 December 1888 at High Angerton, Morpeth, Northumberland, to parents John, a railway plate layer (1891), and Jane.

The 1911 census records Joseph as a coal miner- electric motor attendant.

He married Margaret Isabel Sample (1885-1960) in early 1921 in the Morpeth Registration District, Northumberland. Birth Records identify two children.

  • Edward Riddell (b1923) – a head teacher (1962)
  • Gloria Margaret (1926-2003) – married Edward Birch in 1954

Joseph died on 9 Feb 1962 at Sandbach, Cheshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1916 H.M. Forces (RAMC)
  • 1920 Biddulph
  • 1922 Tunstall
  • 1927 Newcastle III
  • 1933 Burnley
  • 1938 Glasgow Park
  • 1939 Maryport
  • 1946 Sandbach
  • 1949 Ebbw Vale
  • 1952 Bingley
  • 1955 Ashton Lyne
  • 1959 Sandbach (S)


Methodist Minutes 1962/208

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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