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News > Obituaries > George Rettie, Our Oldest Alumni, Dies Aged 105

George Rettie, Our Oldest Alumni, Dies Aged 105

We look back at the life of George Rettie, our oldest alumni, who died aged 105 in May 2021.
28 Oct 2021
Written by Ann Revell
George Rettie on holiday in Aberdeen
George Rettie on holiday in Aberdeen

George Kelly Cargill Rettie was born in 1916, the eldest of two brothers who both attended Dulwich College Preparatory School (DCPS) and subsequently went on to study at Dulwich College. George joined the Prep in 1926, aged ten, where he was part of the Ojibwas tribe and a patrol leader in his final year.

Dulwich College

In 1929 when it came time to look at senior schools, George secured a place at Dulwich College in the Upper IVth on the Classical side. He later became a Prefect, a member of the Officer Training Corps rising through the ranks to become the Company Quartermaster Sergeant and an Editor of the Alleynian.


After Dulwich College, George was awarded a scholarship to the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1941 as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) and a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians (LRCP), the equivalent of the Batchelor of Medicine today. His interest in bacteriology resulted in a year at the Bland Sutton Institute of Pathology, followed by five years in the Royal Army Medical Corps, where he spent time in Nigeria, focusing on the study of malaria. 

After the War, he took a Doctorate of Medicine (MD) and joined a private practice in Harley Street, where he had over forty enjoyable years of service. During his career, he also became the physician in charge of student health at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School and chief medical officer to a Canadian Life Insurance Company, finally retiring in 1987.


George's retirement enabled him to indulge his passion for travel with trips to Kenya, China, Lebanon, and Uzbekistan and holidays closer to home in Europe and the United Kingdom. He had many hobbies, including fly fishing in Scotland, collecting pictures, cooking, entertaining, and reading.  

The Rettie family had a long association London Scottish Rugby Club, and the club was extremely proud that in 2018 he was their oldest member. George joined the club in 1935, after leaving Dulwich College. In 2017, they were delighted to have the privilege of accepting another year’s membership from George, then aged 101.

Later Years

George attended many of Dulwich Prep London's Old Boy and Alumni Association functions. On the 12 May 2015, aged 99, he was the guest of honour at the Old Boys' Dinner hosted at The Pewterers’, where he was seated between the Chairman, Andrew Butler and Sir Bryan Thwaites.

George relished his role as grandfather and great grandfather. He lived independently until he was 102 years old and then spent two happy years in a retirement community where he continued to enjoy entertaining guests with lunch and conversation. He died peacefully in May after a short illness. 

We are extremely grateful to George for leaving us a legacy for the Bursary fund in his will. He often shared fond memories of his time at Dulwich Prep and wished to enable others to benefit from an education at the school.


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