Woutera Sophie Suzanna van Benthem Jutting was born 6th February 1899 in Batavia, Island of Java, Netherlands Indies (now Djakarta, Djawa, Indonesia) from Dutch parents. Her father, Wouter Christiaan LL.D. (Leiden), then a member of the High Court of Justice in Batavia, had served his entire career in the Netherlands Indies. Her mother, Sophie Henriëtte Aegidia Bosch, was the daughter of a high-ranking civil officer in the Dutch colonial government. Tera’s father retired in 1900 and returned with his family to the Netherlands, settling first at Nijmegen and later at Heemstede near Haarlem. There, in 1915, Tera’s mother died from tropical spruw, then nearly always fatal. Her father died at Haarlem in 1933. From 1911 until 1916 Tera attended the secondary school for girls in Haarlem. Here she learnt very well modern languages and literature (Dutch, French, English, and German), political history and the history of art. The natural history lessons had her lively interest, and, having finished school, she wished to study biology at University level. Her father, however, did not consider that this could help a woman to gain financial independence and advised her to take up teaching. Tera followed her father’s advice and after nearly two years study she passed the required examinations, qualifying 30th April 1918 as a primary school teacher. She then decided to follow her preference for biology.