John Dancy (2)

A friend of mine – not an Old Marlburian – pointed out that an obituary has now appeared of my former headmaster, John Dancy, or JCD as he was known. I am re-posting it even though there may be lots of people, including me, who don’t have a subscription to the Times, because it is a good example of how little one sometimes knows of people except in death.

So, I did not know that his parents were liberal East London doctors; nor that he had been inspired to become a schoolteacher instead of an Oxford don, as he easily could have been, by the experience of interrogating members of the Hitler Youth, thereby recognising the formative importance of a liberal school education; nor that he had been sporty before contracting polio in his twenties (he walked with an obvious limp); nor that he had been a member of the Newsom Commission in the 1960s which recommended the integration of the public schools with the state system. He was impressive as a figurehead and I now better understand why.