Gavin Hannah

Gavin Hannah studied at Kellogg for the MSc in English Local History between 2001 and 2003, and had begun work on a DPhil. He passed away in his sleep in July 2016.

Gavin was Head of History at Summer Fields School in Oxford from 1983 to 2013, and Director of Studies from 1994 to 2005. As a professionally qualified mentor he oversaw the training of many younger colleagues for their PGCE at Buckingham University, a role which he continued even after his retirement in 2013.

Gavin was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and closely involved with the Oxfordshire Records Society (acting as its secretary for a time) and the Oxfordshire Historical Association. He was also a published author, writing on topics including Bridport Harbour, Black Country history and medieval Herefordshire. In addition to two history text books, he wrote The Deserted Village, an edited collection of the diaries of the 18th Century Rector of Nuneham Courtenay. He also edited, and wrote a substantial part of, Summer Fields: the First 150 Years, which was published in 2014 to mark the school’s 150th anniversary. At the time of his death he was working on a projected transcription/edition of the letters of Queen Charlotte held in the Bodleian Library.

He is mourned by friends, former pupils and colleagues, but above all by Ann, his widow, his brother Malcolm, his sons Giles and Marcus, and his five grandsons of whom he was so proud.

There will be a memorial service at St Michael’s Church, Summertown, on Saturday 25th February 2017 at 11:30am, followed by a lunch in the Salata Pavilion at Summer Fields School to provide an opportunity to celebrate Gavin’s life. For further details, contact Summer Fields School on 01865 459231 or

A booklet of reminiscences of Gavin is being compiled for distribution after the memorial service and anyone who would like to contribute a brief recollection is welcome to send it to Dr Paul Dean at Summer Fields School,, by 31 January please.

(Our thanks to Dr Paul Dean of Summer Fields School for the above.)