Vowles, Victor Elijah (1899-1981)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

VICTOR ELIJAH VOWLES: born in Cwm, Ebbw Vale on 2nd May 1899. He grew up in a valley mining community and in a Methodist family. After leaving school he became a surface worker at the coal mine, then spent a short period in the army towards the end of the First World War. He was accepted for the Primitive Methodist ministry and served a pre-collegiate year in the Leighton Buzzard Circuit before entering Hartley College. He then served in the following circuits: Colchester, Abergavenny, Nelson, Aberdare (Market Street), Sutton and Kirkby, London (Walthamstow), London (Stoke Newington and Tottenham), Bromley Common and Orpington, Sutton and Kirkby (second term), Ashfield, and Bridgend. He never lost his love for South Wales and he stayed on at Bridgend as a supernumerary. 

All his ministry Victor Vowles was a keen Bible student. He enjoyed teaching in the Sunday School and sharing in young people’s activities. He had a great love for children and had the gift of entering into their world. And children loved him. Sadly, his only child, Roy, died at the age of six weeks. It was in 1929 that Victor married Hazel Meredith, a teacher, who shared his ministry as long as possible, but after suffering a crippling disease for years, she died in 1948. Within two years of her death, he was joined by his niece, Gladys Rogers, who looked after him well for the rest of his life. 

Helping local preachers to prepare for the Connexional Examinations was another part of ministry in which he delighted. Victor Vowles was greatly loved by his people. His pastoral work was thorough and his care for his flock was constant. He was an efficient administrator and a good colleague. He had a lively sense of humour and a ready wit. All his life he enjoyed many kinds of sport. For a decade after retirement he was active and in addition to preaching he undertook the chaplaincy of a group of hospitals, a ministry greatly appreciated. He became President of the Old Age Pensioners’ Association in Bridgend and Secretary for the whole area. 

The last few years brought ill-health and ended these activities. They were frustrating years to him for he longed still to serve, He died peacefully in hospital on the 11th May 1981 in the eighty-third year of his life and the fifty-sixth year of his ministry.


Victor was born on 2 May 1899 at Cwm, Monmouthshire, to parents Henry Vowles, a colliery engine driver, above ground (1901), and Mary Rogers.

He married Hazel Kathleen Meredith (1899-1948) in the summer of 1929 in the Bedwelty Registration District, Monmouthshire. Birth records identify one child.

  • Roy M (1931-1931)

Victor died on 11 May 1981 at Bridgend, Glamorgan.


  • 1923 Leighton Buzzard
  • 1924 Hartley
  • 1926 Colchester
  • 1927 Abergavenny
  • 1929 Nelson & Caerphilly
  • 1931 Aberdare
  • 1935 Sutton & Kirkby
  • 1938 London Waltham
  • 1946 Stoke Newington
  • 1951 Bromley Com &c
  • 1956 Sutton & Kirkby
  • 1959 Ashfield
  • 1960 Bridgend
  • 1964 Bridgend (S)


Methodist Minutes 1981/91

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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