Gertrude Anna Bertha Hermes was born in Bickley, Kent, on August 18, 1901. Louis August Hermes and Helene, née Gerdes, were from Altena, Germany, near Dortmund. She attended the Beckenham School of Art in around 1921. She then enrolled in Leon Underwood’s Brook Green School of Painting and Sculpture in 1922, where she met Eileen Agar, Raymond Coxon, Henry Moore, and Blair Hughes-Stanton, whom she later married in 1926. They divorced in 1933 after separating in 1931.