St John's School in Wartime

A blog about the history of St John's School Leatherhead in wartime and those Old Johnians who served in the First and Second World Wars.

Old School Songs: 1 The Song of the OJs

The Song of the OJs, attributed to St John's organist and music master, Walter Henry Lonsdale, was first mentioned in The Johnian for February 1899:

 ‘Perhaps the greatest success of the evening were the two School Songs, in which the School shewed they were able not only to sing in tune but also to keep well together’.  

The words were published in July 1899.   

Walter Henry Lonsdale retired in 1913 aged 47. He was organist and music-master at St John's for fifteen years, librarian for eight years and editor of the Johnian for six. In June 1924, aged 60, W H Lonsdale married Miss Sarah Maria Esberger (59), matron at St John’s from 1908 – 1918. They lived in Blackpool and Walter died in 1931, aged 66. Sarah died in 1935, aged 70…

The song used to be sung at all OJ gatherings, but now sounds rather dated!


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