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Judith Beckett

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ON May 26, Judith Anne Beckett (nee Bailes), BA, MRCVS, of Deerfield, Brae Street, Dunkeld, Perthshire. Mrs Beckett qualified from London in 1951.

Bruce Vivash Jones writes: I first met Judy Bailes (as she then was) in 1946 when, with some 70 other students, of which about two-thirds were ex-servicemen, we gathered at the Royal Veterinary College, Camden Town, for the five-year course, then spread between London and Streatley-on-Thames. Judy was a sparkling member of our very small female contingent, all of whom (about six in number as I recall) gained rapid popularity, unfortunately usually with the more senior students. Her loss will be mourned by the now diminishing survivors of that 1951 graduating year.

Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1928, Judy was educated at Newcastle Church High School where she met Barbara Edwards, finding a soulmate as both of them had always wanted to enter the veterinary profession. Their school days were enhanced by being evacuated, due to the war, from Newcastle to the rather grander surroundings of Alnwick Castle; grand maybe, but, as I was often reminded, very cold in winter.

On qualifying in 1951, Judy joined a small animal, plus some horses and goats, practice in Huddersfield. This was owned by Joan Milnes, a 1945 London graduate, who proved to be both a good mentor and friend. She ran an efficient and organised practice, if in what would now be considered rather primitive conditions: cat spays, for …

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