Born into a family with a strong background in swimming, due to her father working at the local swimming pool and her two brothers being heavily involved in water polo, Catherine Brown was destined to continue the family tradition and take to the water. Despite having a full-time job as a clerk, Brown still managed to train for eight hours a day. This absolute dedication to her sport served her well, as throughout her 16-year career she achieved 29 UK records. In the 1947 European Championships, Brown won silver medals in the 400m freestyle and the 100m backstroke, and a bronze in the 100m freestyle relay. A year later, she made her first ever journey to London for the 1948 Olympic Games. Leaving behind her family, who were unable to make the trip because they could not afford the journey, Brown went on to win a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle in the Empire Pool, Wembley. It was Britain’s only swimming medal at the 1948 Olympic Games.