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Family Life & Primary Education


Harold Vincent Beck

I was born in North Kensington, London, U.K. in September 1924 and brought up there with three brothers and one sister by very caring parents.

Mother & me, 1924

Mother & me, 1924

Dad & offspring, 1932

Dad & offspring, 1932



My father was a master printer and made a living by running a printing works with his brothers, Wal and Fred.  He was also a pianist, organist and choirmaster.


At three years old I became asthmatic after catching measles and it was probably in November 1928, at 4 years old, I was sent for about 3 months to a convalescent home at Ventnor.  After researches in Ventnor some 75 years later I am certain this was St. Catherine's Home which was run by the Sisters of East Grinstead, an Anglican Order in Surrey.

Ventnor Convalescent Home

On returning home I attended the local Oxford Gardens Infants and Primary Schools from which I obtained a L.C.C. Junior County Scholarship.  I also sat the entrance examination of the Regent Street Polytechnic School for Boys and was awarded a Free Place.  I did not regard these successes as significant until, again about 75 years later, I came across a statement about them in LCB Seaman's History of the Quintin School:-