Early Life and Education, London, 1903–1929
Grimmett was born in London in 1903, the eldest of three boys, all of whom had to take music lessons. Grimmett’s instrument was the piano. He did well in high school, especially in French, chemistry and physics, but when he left high school at age 18, he signed on with the Royal Mail Steam Package Co. as a musician and played the piano on ships to South America where he stayed for a couple of years, earning his living as a musician. He returned to England in 1923 and entered King’s College London, graduating in 1926. He then became a graduate student at King’s, doing research under Sir Owen Richardson who received the 1928 Nobel Prize in Physics. In 1927, he was married to Norah Anastasia Gill. He finished his research in 1929 and left King’ College without receiving his Ph.D. He could not afford the filing fee. He had worked his way through college playing for the silent movies, but with the advent of the “talkies,” he had lost his income. He went to work at Westminster Hospital.