© National Portrait Gallery, London
William Maxwell Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook
after Graham Vivian Sutherland Click on the links below to find out more
photographic collotype printed in colours, (1952)
22 1/8 in. x 18 in. (562 mm x 457 mm) paper size
Given by Emery Walker Ltd, 1955
King George VI is found dead in his bed in Sandringham; he had been suffering from lung cancer. His daughter Elizabeth, who was in Kenya at the time, became Queen, the only monarch not to know the precise moment of her accession as her father was alone when he died. Elizabeth was crowned the following year.
Art and science
Samuel Beckett's play, Waiting for Godot
is performed for the first time in Paris. The play belongs to the Theatre of the Absurd style, which influenced playwrights such as Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard.Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap
opens in London. It is still going.
Mau Mau rebels in Kenya rise up against the British colonial administration. The rebellion was sparked by the growing poverty of the native farmers under the rule of white settlers and called for Kenyan independence. The violence of the rebels, who often murdered settlers and loyalists, was met by the indiscriminate suppression by the British Military, who executed hundreds of suspects.