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The Digger’s Doctor, A Life of Service
October 21, 2014
Dr. Donald Beard has had an extraordinary career. He has been quoted as a man of substance in war and in peace. He graduated in 1947 M.B, B.S. (Adel). and joined the Citizen Military Forces. He took up appointment at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and in 1949 he was sent to Japan for 12 months as part of the Occupation forces. He chose to stay for an additional six months. He was involved in the Korean War 1950/1 assisting with the treatment and medical recovery of wounded troops. Further surgical training was undertaken in England at the College of Surgeons where he juggled his time to pursue a cricketing career.
Don Beard was made a Fellow Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, England and Australasia. In 1962 he was made an Honorary Surgeon at QEH and subsequently became Commanding Officer 3 General Hospital (Colonel). In 1968 he was Surgeon 1 Aust. Field Hospital in Vietnam. He has held numerous positions some of which include, Consultant Surgeon to Army Office, Canberra, Head of Surgical Services, Modbury Hospital and in 1977 Honorary Surgeon to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Back in Adelaide he became the SACA team doctor, having a sound relationship with the late Sir Donald Bradman. Following a move to New Guinea he met Margaret Dunn who was to be his future wife. He retired in Adelaide in 1987as Head of Surgical Services at Modbury Hospital. In that year he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (Military Division). Don has teamed up with former Test Cricketer Ashley Mallett, who has written the story of Donald Beard, “ The Digger’s Doctor.” This book was launched in Canberra by Governor General Peter Cosgrove only a few months ago.
Dr. Donald Beard, now an octogenerian, is a proud South Australian with a great story to tell.