Deck, James George
b Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk 1802, d Motueka, Tasman Bay, S Island, New Zealand 1884. He belonged to the Christian (Plymouth) Brethren but joined the Indian service as an army officer; he may have joined the Brethren only during his army years. On his retirement in 1843 he took charge of a Gospel Hall in Wellington, Som, and in 1852 sailed for New Zealand where he remained. In 1837–8 he published Hymns for the Poor of the Flock; Psalms and Hymns etc followed in 1842, and further books in NZ in 1857 and 1860. In 1876 his work was collected as Hymns and Sacred Poems, and published in Melbourne. Many of his hymns reflect the traditional Brethren emphases on our Lord’s return in glory. Christian Worship (1976) features 8 of them; CH has 6 (5 in the 2004 edn). One of his small but pithy works was Joy in Departure; this account ‘of the conversion and last days of Augustus James Clarke’ (1831–45), who died a few days short of his 14th birthday, ends with a solemn gospel appeal. JDG was the brother of the hymnwriter Mary Walker, qv, and therefore brother-in-law of Dr Walker of Cheltenham who compiled Psalms and Hymns in 1855. A feature by John Andrews in HSB211 (April 1997) sets his work in the wider context of ‘Plymouth Brethren Hymnody’. No.492.