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News > Obituaries > Obituary - Ian Duncan Kay

Obituary - Ian Duncan Kay

It is with regret that we notify you of the death of Ian Duncan Kay (OI 1951-56)
26 Jan 2021
Written by Carrie Baker

KAY, Ian Duncan. 

Ian was at the school from 1951-1956 and will be sadly missed by his friends and family.

We are conscious that many people from this time at school may not be in contact with us and we would be very grateful if you could pass on this information to those that you know.

As is the usual practice, we would like to place an obituary for him in the next OI Journal and would be very grateful if anyone felt they could come forward to write one. Alternatively, if you know of any stories or memories, please pass them on so we could put them together for the publication. Address any contributions to me through or in the comments below.

With best wishes

Iain Chesterman
OI Chairman


Dr John Langley (OI 1952-58) writes:

Iain (this was his preferred spelling) Kay, along with his younger brother Andy were contemporaries with me at the school in the ‘50s, and their parents were close friends of my parents. Their father Dr Robert Kay was a well-respected local GP and an anaesthetist who worked with my own father, a surgeon.

At that time, the Kay family lived next door to my future wife Jane Moules’s family in Burlington Road, so the Kay boys used to play with Jane and her sister Liffy. We didn’t really get to know an older brother Hugh Kay, who became an officer in the Royal Navy.

After university, Iain became a school teacher and found his way to Port Vila in the New Hebrides, which gained independence in 1980 and became the Republic of Vanuatu. Iain married a local girl, Marianne. They returned to visit UK in about 1975, staying with us in Harrow with their first-born son: Marianne was not at all happy with the English winter climate and spent as much time as possible huddled with two jumpers in front of an electric fire: she had never before left her tropical island. Meanwhile, Andy had become a solicitor and settled in New South Wales, to be joined by the Kay parents who retired there.


Revd Dr Geoffrey Cook (OI 1949-56) writes:

I was very sorry to hear of the death of Ian Kay (OI 1951-56) as we were very good friends at School.  I read Dr John Langley's piece with great interest and, if I may, I should like add a few details of Ian's time at the School.  Ian and I had a shared interest in science, and we spent many happy Sunday afternoons in Dr Kay's basement doing home chemistry experiments.  We also enjoyed cycling over the Suffolk countryside and one weekend we camped at Dunwich.  The roads then were much quieter, and we cycled from Ipswich to Dunwich with a rolled-up tent and some provisions. It was quite a lengthy cycle ride!  Come Sunday I think we were not exactly looking forward to cycling back to Ipswich, when Dr & Mrs Kay turned up in a large car together with a couple in another large car.  Our visitors then proceeded to prepare a most enjoyable picnic and to our relief put our bikes in the boots of their cars and drove us back to Ipswich.

I rather lost contact with Ian on leaving School; I believe Ian studied at Sir John Cass College, London.  The last contact I had with the family was in the early 1960's when I was a postgraduate student in the Dept of the Regius Professor of Physic (not Physics) based at the Old Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge.  Walking past my laboratory window on one Saturday was Dr Kay.  I caught up with him and had an enjoyable conversation.  From my memory I believe he was at that time specializing in anaesthesia and was attending a day course run by the Postgraduate Medical School at Addenbrookes.  He said he would update Ian on our meeting.

I have no recollection of meeting other members of Ian's family.  Certainly, he was a very good friend, and I am so sorry to hear of his passing.


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