HACKFORTH, Henry Robert 1876 - 1950

Obituary from the Minutes of the Methodist Conference 1950, page 152

Born at Ulverston in 1876. He entered the Wesleyan Ministry in 1906 and trained at Didsbury College. His valuable service began at Aberdare. Unsparing and tireless in all his work, he was called to Oxford, from which circuit he joined H.M. Forces as a Gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery, and later became Chaplain to the troops serving in France.

Under the strain of Service life his health became seriously affected. This demanded six months of hospital treatment. His love for the men of the Forces, however, never weakened, and as soon as he had regained his strength, his chaplaincy work was taken up with renewed zeal, first at Aldershot and later at Bordon Camp.

On being demobilized, he laboured in the Sheffield Mission, and afterwards in circuits varying in character and disposition from Buckingham and Brackley to Hayle in Cornwall.

After serving as Officiating Chaplain to the R.A.F. at Upavon Camp, the strain of Service life compelled his retirement at Weston-super-Mare where he was found often at work, when less zealous men would have been resting. He was sure of his Master, and never doubted the call to commend Him to others. Faithful and zealous in all his ministry, he led many to the knowledge of the love of God.

His influence among men was both winsome and convincing. He suffered the loss of two sons in the Second World War. This double tragedy might easily have broken him completely but for the love and fortitude of his splendid wife and the strong affection of his surviving eldest son, an officer in the Royal Navy. His preaching never lacked the note of certainty, nor did his faith waver.

Many were steadied and comforted by his words and example, and these all rise up to call him blessed.

The close of his earthly pilgrimage came suddenly and quietly in the seventy-fourth year of his life and the forty-fourth of his ministry on the 4th June 1950.

©Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes 1950

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