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12 May 1942, Harrow, Middlesex, England, d. 27 March 2000, London, England. The long held claim of being born in Upminster, Essex has been ruined by the thorough research of his biographer Richard Balls. Dury moved around a lot in his early years; from Donegal in Ireland to Mevagissey in Cornwall. He settled in Cranham, Essex, a village at the posh end of Upminster, moving there with his mother at the age of 4. In 1949, the young Dury contracted polio, a crippling disease that was particularly common between 1947 and 1954. He spent two years in hospital in East Sussex, during which time he was never to be found without a sketch pad. He attended art college and eventually received a scholarship to the Royal College Of Art. His polio had left him badly crippled but Dury turned his disability into a positive advantage. Much of his strength of character and great sense of humour was formed from these times.
Although music was a big part of his...