Surman, Harry Victor (1894-1954)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

HARRY VICTOR SURMAN: born at Moira in Leicestershire in 1894. He was won for Christ in his teens, and later on heard and obeyed the call to the ministry of the Primitive Methodist Church. After training in Hartley College, he began his ministry in 1918, and travelled at Blantyre, Motherwell, Thornley, Hexham, Burton-on-Trent, Stretford, Orrell, Radcliffe, and Exmouth. 

He was a many-sided man. His preaching was coloured by his study of philosophy and psychology, and he always gave his people something solid to ponder. As an administrator he had marked gifts, but he never really loved ecclesiastical machinery. As a pastor he was always welcomed in the homes of his people, and was ever ready with sympathy and help in time of need; he loved his folk. 

In Radcliffe, education was one of his main interests, and he served on various governing bodies, giving his time and strength ungrudgingly. His power of concentration was quite unusual. His sense of humour was keen and the imp of mischief was never faraway. He was a great lover of cricket and could be deeply stirred by music. His social qualities were pronounced and he made a host of friends. He was a man’s man, with strong convictions and the courage to suffer for them. 

He served his Lord and his Church with splendid devotion to the very end—which came on 10th February 1954, at the age of sixty and in the thirty-sixth year of his ministry.


Harry was born on 19 January 1894 at Church Gresley, Derbyshire, to parents Roland John Surman, a railway signalman (1901), and Eliza Jane Adkins.

He married Ethel Maude Sherratt (1889-1964) in the summer of 1922 in the Ashby de la Zouch Registration District, Leicestershire. Birth records identify two children.

  • Ethel Shiela (1925-2015)
  • John Stuart Victor (1927-1996) – a doctor

Harry died on 10 February 1954 at Exmouth, Devon.


  • Hartley
  • 1918 Supply
  • 1920 Blantyre and Hamilton
  • 1922 Motherwell
  • 1924 Thornley
  • 1928 Hexham
  • 1932 Burton on Trent II
  • 1937 Manchester Stretford
  • 1941 Orrell
  • 1946 Radcliffe
  • 1953 Exeter


Methodist Minutes 1954/133

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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