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TonyTree | Grace Higgins, in front of her portrait painted by Vanessa Bell in 1943 | The British Library | High-spirited, with a robust sense of humour. She often sat for the painters. Grace travelled abroad for the first time - with the family to St Tropez in 1921. In 1934 Grace married a local Sussex man, Walter Higgens, who later worked as the gardener at Charleston, and their only child John was born in 1935. In 1934 she was installed as housekeeper at Charleston.