Reynolds, Christopher Hanby Baillie 1922 - 2015


Christopher Reynolds was born on 29 July 1922 in St Albans. He was educated at Winchester College, before going on to New College, Oxford, from where he obtained a BA in Literae Humaniores in 1948 and an MA in 1951. His studies at Oxford were disrupted by war service in 1942; after initially serving in Italy he was sent to Sri Lanka, where he became fascinated by the Sinhalese language, script, and culture.

Supported by post-war scholarships, Reynolds achieved a BA degree in Sinhalese from SOAS in 1953, and was instantly appointed to a lectureship in Sinhalese at SOAS. Overseas Research Leave took him to Sri Lanka for study, largely with Buddhist monks; and to the Maldives, which at the time was not generally accessible to foreigners. There he studied the Maldivian language, which is related to Sinhalese. After further research visits, he ultimately published the first English-Maldivian dictionary in 2003.

Reynolds died on 3 April 2015 in Westerham, Kent, where he had lived with his late wife for many years.