KNIGHT-HEPBURN, Bessie Jane

1897 - 1974

Bessie Jane Hepburn

As Bessie Jane Trim, she was born at Streatley, Berkshire on 3 April 1897, youngest of the six children of James Arthur Trim, a farmer & publican, and his wife Jane née Murrell, who married in 1881. In 1911, 14 year old Bessie was living at Red Lion Inn, Margaretting, Essex with her parents, 57 year old James and 56 year old Jane with five siblings, Arthur Henry 28, Ethel Mary 26, Eveline Elizabeth 24, Felix Robert 22 and Caroline Augusta 19, all born at Ashampstead, Berkshire. Bessie married at Aldeburgh, Suffolk in 1932, Robert James Knight-Hepburn (27 January 1873-1948), who kept a chemists & druggist shop at 125 High Street, Aldeburgh. In 1939 they were living at 125 High Street, Aldeburgh and Bessie Knight-Hepburn, along with Mrs Dorothy Clarke, a housewife, both from Aldeburgh, made history when she became the first woman to receive the George Medal from the British monarch at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 1941. She was awarded the Medal for her bravery after they courageously picked their way across a minefield at Thorpeness, Suffolk to reach two dying men. Both were members of Air Raid Precautions, with Mrs Knight-Hepburn the first-aid attendant and Mrs Clarke driving the ambulance. One soldier died at the scene and the other was badly injured and was given first aid before he was taken to Aldeburgh Cottage Hospital, where he later also died. Both medals were held at the Moot Hall Museum in Aldeburgh but went missing in 2006. A member of the Ipswich Art Club 1956-1962 and exhibited from Rishangles Lodge, Thorndon, Eye, Suffolk in 1957 two oils 'Summer Storm, Eyken Cliffs, from Saxmundham Road' and 'Petunies', in 1958 'Winter Bouquet', in 1959 'Solidtude at Minsmere' which seem to have been her last. She died in the Ipswich district in 1974.






Works by This Painter