He was born at Baddeley Green, Stoke-on-Trent, on 9 April 1902. He entered the UM ministry from teaching in 1923. From 1929 to 1935 he served as a missionary at Shantung in the North China District, but returned to English circuits on health grounds. His wife was Phyllis Doidge (1913-2002), a fellow missionary . From 1953 to his retirement in 1967 he lectured in Religious Studies at Dudley Training College. His New World (1967) and Winding Quest (1972) were an imaginative re-presentation of the heart of the NT and OT. The first verse and refrain of HP 315 are taken from New World; the rest of the hymn was added by the composer of the tune. Dale wrote a number of children's books, including A Portrait of Jesus (1979).He died at Dartmouth on 31 January 1979.
'Although he was deeply satisfied with the worldwide success of his translation, he was always irked that New World was seldom appreciated by teachers or, above all, clergy, as anything more than another, albeit perhaps less pompous, new translation, like Moffatt or J.B. Phillips. On the contrary Alan, whose oft-repeated mantra was "Never be afraid of scholarship", was disappointed that so few recognised that, as he put it, "I have tried to embody the work of scholars" in what was his "New Testament for slow learners" as his publishers initially termed it.'
Brian Brown, in Methodist Recorder, 6 April 2006