Beatrice Musgrave grew up in Hamburg. Her father had grown up in Paris but maintained his German citizenship. He was a businessman and lived in Bradford before World War One, and then moved to Hamburg.
Beatrice had one sister. She went to a local school in Hamburg, and recalls starting to experience antisemitism in 1936, following which she was sent in to a boarding school in Switzerland called ‘Belmont’. She returned to Hamburg in 1937 and three weeks later the family emigrated to the UK. They settled in Putney, where Beatrice went to Putney Girls' School. In 1940 she moved with her family to Bradford where her father set up a business together with his cousins.
After finishing school, Beatrice received a scholarship to read English at Oxford University. She then worked for two refugee publishers, Picture Post and Thames and Hudson. She married in 1953 and had two children. Later she trained as a group psychotherapist.