John Christie (headmaster)

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John Traill Christie (18 October 1899 – 8 September 1980) was headmaster of Repton School (1932–37) and Westminster School (1937–50), before becoming Principal of Jesus College, Oxford (1949–67).[1]

Christie married Lucie Catherine, only daughter of Thomas Philip Le Fanu; they had two daughters.[2] The elder was Catherine (born 1935); the younger, Jane (born 1936) married Henry Galton Darwin.

Author Roald Dahl attended Repton from 1929, where, according to Boy: Tales of Childhood,[3] a friend named Michael was viciously caned by headmaster Geoffrey Fisher, who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury. However, according to Dahl's biographer Jeremy Treglown,[4] the caning took place in May 1933, a year after Fisher had left Repton and the headmaster concerned was in fact J. T. Christie.

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, a British classical scholar who became Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford, recounted that, during his years as a student at Westminster School, he had been interested in Modern History before being converted to Classics by Christie.[5]


  1. ^ Norrington, A. L. P. "Christie, John Traill (1899–1980)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online edition) (subscription access). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Sturrock, Donald (8 August 2010). "Roald Dahl's schooldays". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  4. ^ Jeremy Treglown, Roald Dahl: A Biography (1994) , Faber and Faber, page 21. Treglown's source note is as follows: "Several people who were at the top of Priory House at the time have discussed it with me, particularly B.L.L. Reuss and John Bradburn."
  5. ^ Obituary in The Times October 9, 2009