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John Dronfield

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John Dronfield (December 23, 1898 – March 8, 1983) was an English schoolmaster who served as headmaster of St Peter's School, York between 1937-1967.

Education and headmaster[edit]

He was educated at Ashby Grammar School and then at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he studied Mathematics from 1920-1923. After three years of teaching at Stanley House School, Edgbaston, he moved to Worksop College where he was acting headmaster for a short period of time. He was headmaster of St Peter's School, York from 1937 to 1967 [1], where he transformed the school from a struggling school facing closure to a prosperous school with triple the number of students in 1967.[2] The school added many new buildings and made a number of acquisitions of land and houses. He was headmaster through the Second World War and guided the school into the challenging modern world.[3] Dronfield house at St Peter’s School was named after him to honour his contributions to the school.

He was active in many other ways in the York community which earned him an OBE in 1971. He was a York City Magistrate, Chairman of the York Probation Committee, and, after retirement, became the Secretary to the Trustees of the York Minster Fund.[4]

Personal life[edit]

He married Dr Sheila Williams in 1939 and had two sons and two daughters.[5]


  1. Who Was Who (1981-1990) V. 8: A companion to who’s who containing the biographies of those who died during the decade 1981-1990. (2nd ed.). A & C Black. 1991. ISBN 0-7136-3336-0. Search this book on
  2. "The Peterite (1983)" (PDF). St Peter's School, York. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  3. "Ancient Learning". The Press. 9 February 2004. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  4. "Obituaries". The Times. 22 March 1983.
  5. "Wedding Bells". Wicklow People. 15 April 1939.

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