Quick navigation

posted Wednesday, March 17, 2004


[Oxford Mail]



Death of Mr. John Irving,
of SS. Mary and John

Admired and respected by the thousands of boys who have passed through his hands, the death took place yesterday at hits home, 36, Southfield-road, Oxford, of Mr. John Irving, headmaster of SS. Mary and John School from 1893-1932.

He was headmaster when the school opened over 40 years ago, and during his long tenure of office he saw many changes in the number of children attending the school and in time methods of education.

John Irving His cheery personality and sympathetic understanding of the young mind did much to promote the happy spirit of co-operation between staff and pupils which still permeates the atmosphere of the school, and old boys, now resident in many parts of the country, have many pleasant memories of their days under his headmastership.


Mr. Irving was an enthusiastic member of the National Union of Teachers and was closely identified with the Church and other activities of the parish. He was ever ready to give what assistance he could in any direction, and by his death the parish loses a staunch friend.

A Cumberland man, Mr. Irving came of a well-known Maryport family, and came to Oxford to take up his headmastership straight from St. Bede's College, Durham. The school was opened in St. Alban's Church, Charles-street, with only 23 pupils, but in January, 1896, the present buildings were opened, which now accommodate 1,191 children, of whom 386 are boys, 360 girls and 445 infants.


When Mr. Irving retired in August, 1932, he was presented with a gold watch from the managers, teachers and children.

His hobbies were walking and study of languages.

He leaves a widow and two sons. Both sons started their senior school life at their father's school. One son is an Oxford don, while the other, Commander J. J. Irving, who was formerly in the Navy, will he remembered for the part he played in the Antarctic Expedition.


Other obituary

© Focal Point 2004 F Irving write to David Irving