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John Lyon celebrates John Lyon on annual Founder’s Day

The generosity of the man after who John Lyon is named, and the continuing charitable nature of our pupils have been highlighted at the annual Founder’s Day.

Two Acts of Commemoration, held at St Mary’s Church on Friday 28th September, remembered John Lyon, a philanthropic yeoman farmer who lived in the village of Preston in Harrow 450 years ago. In his lifetime he created what is now Harrow School, and then 300 years later in 1876 a new boys’ day school was opened and named after him.

The services, led by Vicar of St Mary’s, The Reverend James Power, saw all current pupils come together in the church where John Lyon is buried. Also joining them were 35 Old Lyonians, many who were returning to the School for the first time since finishing as pupils.

In her address, The Mayor of Harrow, Cllr Kareema Marikar talked about the generosity of John Lyon in his own time and how that spirit of philanthropy and charity lives on in the School to this day, listing some of the work with which our current pupils are involved.

Bible lessons were read by Deputy Head boys Javier D’Souza and Coco Rashid, while Head Boy Ed Davey read the School Charter. A wreath was laid at Lyon’s memorial by Deputy Head Boy Jaimi Patel.

Music for the Founder’s Day service was led by the John Lyon Motet Choir, directed by Mr Huw Jones and accompanied by Mr Andrew Furniss on organ alongside a brass and percussion section. The Choir sang Hubert Parry’s much-loved coronation anthem, I was glad, and they also led the School in the singing of the hymn, Jerusalem, the National Anthem, and the School Song.

After the Founder’s Day service a special lunch was held in the New Memorial Dining Hall, attended by many of the Old Lyonians, who took time to talk to current students about the School and how it has changed across the decades.

Visit the Old Lyonian Website


John Lyon will also be celebrated at the annual Commemoration Concert on Saturday 6th October at 8.00pm, at which the musical forces of John Lyon School and Harrow School come together in Harrow School’s Speech Room.

Music will include Hubert Parry’s I was glad and Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, as well as music by Frederick Kelly and Lili Boulanger.

This is a free and unticketed event, to which all are welcome.


John Lyon is an independent school, a member of HMCISC and is reviewed in the Good Schools Guide.

Pupils typically join John Lyon in Years 7, 9 and 12, largely from a North West London catchment area including Harrow, Wembley, Stanmore, Pinner, Watford, Rickmansworth, Northwood, Ruislip, Hillingdon, Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Southall, Ealing, Acton, Edgware, Brent Cross, Finchley, Barnet, Camden, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, as well as other parts of Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

See forthcoming open events, concerts and exhibitions on our What’s On page.