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posted Wednesday, March 17, 2004

[Oxford Mail]




The death occurred on Tuesday at Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, of Mr. J. Irving, headmaster of SS. Mary and John's School from 1893-1932. His home was at 36, Southfield-road.

Mr. Irving was headmaster when the School first opened over 40 years ago, and during his long tenure of office he saw many changes. His cheery personality and understanding of the young mind did much to promote the happy spirit of cooperation between staff and pupils, and old boys, now resident in many parts of the country, have pleasant memories of their days under his headmastership. Mr. Irving was an enthusiastic member of the National Union of Teachers. He was closely identified wit h the Church and other activities or tine parish

A Cumberland man, Mr. Irving came of a well-known Maryport family, and came to Oxford to take up his headmastership straight from Bede 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 about 1,000 children. 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 a 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 lecturer and the other, Comdr. J. J. Irving, who was formerly in the Navy, will be remembered for the part he played in the Antarctic Expedition.

The funeral took place at the Church of SS. Mary and John on Thursday afternoon, the church being practically filled with parishioners and past and present scholars of the school. The service was taken by the Vicar (the Rev.

W. H. Walsham How), who was assisted by the Revs. A. E. Maund and H. N. Nash.

The family mourners were: Comdr. John Irving and Mrs. Beryl Irving (son and daughter-in-law) and Dr. H. Irving (son).

Among the large number present were : Dr. A. L Ormerod ; Mr. H. C. Cole (headmaster of SS. Mary and John School); Mr. M. L. Grierson, Mr. E. J. Phipps and Mr. C. E. Hart (staff) ; Miss S. Rogers (Infants' School) ; Miss Seward (Girls' School ) ; Mrs. Living- stone and Mr. C. H. Wigg (National Union of Teachers) ; Mr. E. Skuce (City Librarian); Mr. E. F. Worsley (Superintendent of the Poplars) ; Mr. H. A. Tozer (headmaster, Cowley St. John); Mr. A. Flemming (Municipal Secondary School); Miss L. Gee (City Education Committee) ; Miss A. H. E. Vincent, Mrs. Clinkard, Mr. W. White and Mr. H. W. Barrett (churchwardens); and Messrs. J. T. Rhodes, F. C. Coles, W. Burchell, P. Douglas, E. Buckett, G. Butler, F. Rand, T. Robinson, F. Noah, T. M. Kenney, G. Allibone, J. J. Perkins, G. Beesley, J. Shepherd,. B. Parker, E. W. Budd, J. T. Grierson, J. Lyric, R. O. Adams, A. C. Williamson, A. Plaisted, R. Coulson, E. Pound, F. Williams, A. Rabbet, R. G. Bates, H. Bulpitt, J. Dingle, J. Hunt, B. W. Faulkner, J. W. Graubner and W. T. Hugo. The service was choral, Mr. F. V. Parker being at the organ.

The following floral tributes were serif in addition to those from the family : The Old Boys of SS. Mary and John's School ; Staff of SS. Mary and John's School ; the boys of SS. Mary and John's School ; the staff of SS. Mary and John's Girls' School ; the girls of SS. Mary and John's School ; the staff of the Infant School, SS. Mary and John's.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. L. W. Organ. Headington. 


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