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Douglas Weddell Thompson (1903-81)

Douglas Weddell Thompson was born in Gateshead. He left school at fourteen and had a number of jobs before candidating for the ministry. He was trained at Handsworth and sailed to join the Mission in China in 1925. With the exception of a brief period in Calcutta, he remained in China until 1939. As a missionary, Thompson pioneered experiments in welfare, adult literacy and women's co-operatives.

He returned to England on the outbreak of war and served as a chaplain. Thompson was wounded and taken prisoner during the North Africa campaign and spent the rest of the war in captivity.

In 1958, Thompson was appointed General Secretary of the Methodist Missionary Society and in 1966 was elected President of Conference.

Thompson superannuated in 1976 and retired to Sussex.

Source: Minutes of Conference 1981 and Harold Burgoyne Rattenbury papers (MARC)

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