Son of John and Margaret Nettlefold; one of 6 children (5 girls and 1 boy).
Although christened John Kenrick, he was known throughout his life as Ken. Born in 1897, Ken attended baording School at Packwood Haugh before recieving a scholarship to Marlborough. Ken joined the army in 1916 and was posted to Salonika, now known as Thessaloniki, a city in Greece. Salonika was a major Allied front against pro-German Bulgaria, and saw much action between the years 1916 and 1918. On his return to England Ken studied at Balliol College, Oxford University and in later years at Manchester College, Oxford University.
Ken became a Unitarian Minister in 1922, much to the disappointment of his mother, Margaret, who wished him to go into business. His service to the Unitarian Church, however, was short lived as he found himself identifying more and more with the Church of England, until he eventually resigned from the Unitarian Church and took up a role as an Anglican minister. Ken wrote several books detailing his life and experiences. An extract from one of his books describes his mixed feelings for his family and his eventual estrangement from them. Instead, Ken developed a close relationship with an elderly Russian woman, who he met whilst in Dresden in 1922. She became his adopted aunt, moved back to England with him and the two lived together for the next thirty years. Ken married a woman called Phyllis Gertude Barsley (nee Smith) soon before he turned fifty; although a very happy marriage the couple remained childless.