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without there being converts.
He was a Methodist, but people
from all denominations loved
him. He preached to the rich and
the poor, the educated and the
uneducated, and the aristocrats
and the common people.
David Lloyd George, who was
at one time the British Prime
Minister, said, “Should I ever
be lost in the wilds of Western
America or in the Australian
bush where they never heard of
British politicians and I didn’t
know what to do, I would find
the nearest squatter’s or miner’s hut, knock on the door,
and say: ‘I am an old friend of Gipsy Smith.’” 10
H e preached to the British troops in France during
World War 1, and for this, King George VI made
him a Member of the Order of the British Empire. The
motherless little Gypsy boy, who never went to school,
touched millions of lives around the world, and even
though he became famous, he never forgot his heritage.
He had a great love for the Gypsies, sought them out, and
ministered to them wherever he went. Gipsy Smith died
of a heart attack on board the Queen Mary on August
4, 1947. It is said to have been his 45th trip across the
Atlantic. It had been more than 80 years since Gipsy placed his
sister Tilly’s small hand in his as they started on their
E journey to see Mother’s grave.
Father had pitched the tent
three miles from the Norton
church where she was buried.
They started out early in the
morning. With the church spire
as their guide, they wondered
through fields and waded
through ditches of water until
they reached the churchyard.
There were some little cottages
nearby, so Gipsy and Tilly
knocked on the doors and
asked the people if they knew
which one was Mother’s grave.
veryone in the village knew the sad story of the
Gypsy mother dying and the little children left
behind. The grave was pointed out to them, and they
stood over it, weeping for a long time. They gathered
primrose and violet roots and planted them on top.
The women in the cottages who were watching the
poor Gypsy children weeping brought them food. They
stayed until the afternoon and when the children knew
that they must leave, they knelt down and kissed the
grave. As they were going through the gates, Gipsy said,
“I wonder if there is anything I can do for mother?” He
suddenly remembered that he had a gold-headed scarf-
pin, which someone had given him. Rushing back to the
grave, he stuck the scarf-pin into the ground as far as he
could and hurrying back, he said to Tilly, “There, I have
given my gold pin to mother!” 11 It was all he had to give.
Then they went home to the tents and wagons.
The little Gypsy boy could not know that someday he
would give mother a gift far greater than a gold scarf-pin.
He would give her a son whose life was fully dedicated
to God. A son who would preach the Gospel to millions
of people around the world. A son who would see
thousands come to faith in Christ. A son who would
never forget his dear mother or his Gypsy heritage.
Seemingly, the whole world had been made rich by the…
Poor Little Gypsy Boy!
Ibid., Back Cover
Church St. Nicholas in Norton in Heartfordshire