Upright, John (1886-1960)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOHN UPRIGHT: born in Northumberland in 1886. He became a minister in the Primitive Methodist Church, and received his education at Hartley College. He had a long and varied ministry in Wooler, Longton, Ashbourne, Clay Cross, Hexham, Middleham, Stokesley, Barton-on-Humber, Rhondda, Sheerness-on-Sea, and Woodfalls. On his retirement he returned to the Rhondda, where years before he had exercised a remarkably successful ministry. There he settled happily amongst his people, and within the limits imposed by his uncertain health he fulfilled his ministry amongst young and old, Church members and complete outsiders, to the very end. 

He was always a faithful, vigorous preacher of the Gospel, but it was in his pastoral work that he excelled. He had a natural friendliness allied to a disarming modesty; people of all ages and classes found it easy to talk to him and in this unpretentious manner he did great good by stealth. His mind was clear and well informed, and he kept abreast of currents of thought both in the Church and beyond. As a true Methodist he realised there must be no divorce between the social and evangelical, and he believed in a Gospel which was equally relevant to man and to society. 

He died on 26 December 1960, in the seventy-fourth year of his age and the fifty-third of his ministry.


John was born on 1 March 1886 at Belsay, Northumberland, to parents Thomas Kelsey Upright, a PM minister, and Christian Smith.

He married Jane Agnes Atkinson (1883-1948) in the summer of 1914 in the East Ward Registration District, Westmorland. Birth records identify two children.

  • George (1915-2005) – a motor mechanic (1960)
  • Melville (1921-1931)

John died on 23 December 1960 at Gilfach Goch, Glamorgan.


  • Hartley
  • 1908 Lowick
  • 1912 Longton
  • 1913 Ashbourne
  • 1916 Clay Cross
  • 1919 Hexham
  • 1922 Middleham
  • 1926 Stokesley
  • 1930 Barton on Humber
  • 1934 Rhondda
  • 1942 Sheerness
  • 1946 Woodfalls
  • 1949 Salisbury
  • 1950 Rhondda (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1961/211

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: The probate records John’s death as 23 Dec 1960, not 26 December as recorded in the obituary.

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