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Dr Ley was born in Chagford in Devon on 30 December 1887. He was a chorister at St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle, Music Scholar at Uppingham School, Organ Scholar of Keble College Oxford (1906) where he was President of the University Musical Club in 1908, and an Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music where he was a pupil of Sir Walter Parratt and Marmaduke Barton. He was organist at St Mary’s, Farnham Royal, from 1905–1906, and at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford (1909–1926), Professor of organ at the Royal College of Music in London from 1919, and Precentor at Radley College and at Eton College (that is, in charge of the music in College Chapel) from 1926 to 1945. He was an Honorary Fellow of Keble College, Oxford, from 1926 to 1945 and died on 24 August 1962.
He was a composer of choral works, including a celebrated setting of the Founder’s Prayer of King Henry VI.