Tony Knight Obituary

In 1970, my dear friend Tony Knight passed away at the age of 93. He had become headteacher of the Church of England middle school in Newport on the Isle of Wight before the school had even been built, and had worked tirelessly to turn it into a thriving community on the island. Tony made a point of seeking out non-traditional teaching staff to join his team, constantly finding new ways to improve the systems in place and foster a happy, dynamic atmosphere in the school.

Tony was born in Wantage in Oxfordshire, and spent his childhood attending the King Alfred’s school where his parents, Norah and Joseph, both worked. He left the school at 17 in 1944 and joined the Royal Corps of Signals, where he was stationed in Burma until his demobilization in 1949. Tony then went on to study English at Oxford, where he met Hilary Scott, a young nurse whom he would later marry.

After a stint as a management trainee at Anglo Iranian Oil, Tony devoted his career to teaching English, working in schools across Boston, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Exeter. In 1963, he and Hilary relocated to Switzerland to become houseparents at the Pestalozzi Children’s Village in Trogen, a home for children from a variety of backgrounds who had found themselves in difficult circumstances. Tony and Hilary embraced their roles as substitute parents, international community-makers, and UK representatives, delighting the village with Tony’s hilariously theatrical contributions to the weekly assembly.

After six years in Switzerland, Tony returned to Oxford to continue his education. In 1970, he took on the role of headteacher in Newport, where he also served as a lay canon of Portsmouth Cathedral. After retiring from teaching in 1984, Tony focused on teaching English as a foreign language and caring for his mother-in-law. He enjoyed spending time in his garden, taking on tasks like snow-shoveling with his characteristic scientific precision, and exploring the island’s clifftop walks with his beloved dog.

Tony is survived by Hilary, their children, and 12 grandchildren. His legacy of dedication to education, community, and bringing joy and laughter to those around him will be dearly missed.


  • owengriffiths

    Owen Griffiths is 35 years old and a blogger and teacher. He has written about education for over 10 years and has a passion for helping others learn.