Reverend John D. Coutts

As part of our research we're looking at the Keighley Wesleyan Methodist Circuit magazines. These are bound copies which are kept in the archives at Keighley Library in West Yorkshire. The archive number is held there in BK15/1/3/14 and the Keighley Local Studies Room is the place to go to see these records.

The bulk of our research is to be found here: Keighley Wesleyan Circuit

We have come across a man who is not part of our local area but is mentioned in detail in the September 1918 issue of the magazines so we are publishing details so this record of him may be found in an online search:

The Keighley Wesleyan Methodist Circuit Magazine
No. 112. September, 1918 Price 2d. Postage 1d.

The Reverend John D. Coutts, who served as a Chaplain during the Great War.

The Rev. John D. Coutts has had a wide and varied experience during his ministerial career. He was born in the North of Scotland, but spent the formation years of his life in Cardiff, where he received the call to the Ministry. I knew him first as a student at Richmond College where he helped to keep alive and strengthen the spirit of manly Christianity among the Students. He was captain of the football team, and one of the most popular men during his residency there.
On leaving Richmond, Mr. Coutts was appointed to work in India among the Troops, and was able to form his own judgement on some of the problems which confront the British Government in India. During his work there he was also able to gain a first hand knowledge of Foreign Missions.
Returning to England, he became the colleague of the Rev. Dinsdale T. Young at City Road, London, and lived at Wesley's house, having charge of our Church at New North Road. When the three years at City Road had expired the War had broken out. Mr. Coutts was appointed by Conference to Saltburn, but his experience of Chaplaincy work in India and his keen interest in the welfare of the men who were rapidly joining the Forces led him to offer himself as a Chaplain. He was for a short time stationed with the New Army in training at Canterbury, and then proeceeded to France. For two years he lived with the men at the front and ministered to their needs. His services were recognised by the War Office and he received the decoration of the Military Cross. He resumed his work at Saltburn after returning from France and for the last two years has been living at Redcar.
My friendship with Mr. Coutts is too intimate to allow me to attempt anything like an appreciation of his character and abilities, but I can at least say that he combines great force of character with a natural gentleness. He is fully alive to the present needs of men and women, and the great opportunity which is given to the Christan Church today. All that makes for the well being of the people will have his hearty support, and he is qualified to render valuable service in the great tasks that face us in the future.
(Rev.) George Burden.

Source information:
Keighley Wesleyan Circuit Magazines held at Keighley Library, Local Studies Room.
Archive BK15/1/3/14

Click here for more information.

(This link goes to the West Yorkshire Archive Service catalogue entry for these records)

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