Wilson, Frank Clifford (1896-1980)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

FRANK CLIFFORD WILSON; born in Beccles on 7th February 1896, After serving in the First World War, in which he lost a leg, he entered the Primitive Methodist ministry in 1919. Following two years in Ipswich, he went to Hartley College and thereafter served in the following circuits: Bishop Auckland, Barnard Castle, Scholes, Burnley I, Cockermouth, Crook, Shildon, Camelford and Wadebridge, Wisbech, West Auckland, Ulverston and Seaham, 

He married Jennie Morand Hilton who supported him in all his ministry through her warm Christian love and great musical ability. They retired in 1962 and settled in Clevedon four years later. He was a faithful minister and eager preacher of the Word. He was a kindly man who exercised a caring ministry amongst those committed to him: he would go anywhere at any time to those in need. He had great determination, as was shown in the way he overcame his own physical handicap. His work in the Church showed his single-mindedness, and he would achieve objectives he believed in, for example, the revitalising of dispirited churches or the establishment of Methodist societies in new development areas.

He always abounded with energy and expected the same from all who lived and worked with him. He had a keen social conscience and many of the schemes he inaugurated helped to provide amenities for those in need. In the early 1930s, whilst in Durham, he worked to relieve the distress of families suffering as a result of long periods of unemployment. During the Second World War, whilst ministering to a large country circuit in Cornwall, he served as chaplain to the many airmen and soldiers stationed near his church in Camelford, and he worked untiringly to provide comforts for these men in his pastoral care. He was always concerned with work among young people, not least through the Christian Endeavour movement and the Boy’s Brigade. 

His leisure pursuits were reading, gardening and bee-keeping. He loved to watch things grow, and readily gave advice to other would-be gardening experts. He was a great character with many gifts, who always involved others in his enthusiasms. He will be remembered as one of those ministers of the gospel whose earnestness for the things of God will always be an inspiration. 

He died on the 13th October 1980 in the eighty-fifth year of his age and the sixtieth year of his ministry.


Frank was born on 8 February 1896 at Beccles, Suffolk, to parents Charles Wilson, a coal dealer and general carter (1911), and Phoebe Wright.

Before entering the ministry Frank worked as a grocer’s apprentice (1911).

He married Jennie Morland Hilton (1900-1978) in the spring of 1928 at Darlington, Co. Durham.

Frank died on 13 October 1980 at Clevedon, Somerset.


  • 1919 Ipswich
  • 1921 Hartley
  • 1924 Bishop Auckland
  • 1925 Barnard Castle
  • 1927 Scholes
  • 1930 Burnley I
  • 1932 Cockermouth
  • 1933 Crook
  • 1936 Shildon
  • 1939 Camelford &c
  • 1944 Wisbech
  • 1948 W Auckland
  • 1953 Ulverston
  • 1957 Seaham
  • 1962 Clevedon (S)


Methodist 1981/93 Minutes 

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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