Donald Douglas Beard

Written by Dr Bernard Nicholson for Vital Signs Magazine, 2002

Donald Douglas Beard, AM RFD ED QHS MB BA FRCS (ed) FRACS

Donald Beard was born in Adelaide (1925), educated at Adelaide Technical High School and graduated MB BS University of Adelaide (1947).

He served his internship, basic and vocational surgical training at Royal Adelaide Hospital (1948-63), qualifying FRCS Edinburgh, FRCS England and FRACS, all in 1957.

He enlisted in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps (1948) and saw service in the Occupation Force, Japan (1949-50), and Korea (1950-1). He was the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps representative at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, London (1953). He moved through a series of increasingly senior medical corps appointments (1964-75) including surgeon 1 Aust FD Hospital, Vietnam (1968) retiring as consultant surgeon to the Army Office, Canberra (1987).

Pari passu with his military service he developed his professional skills becoming honorary visiting surgeon at both The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (1963 -73) and head of surgical services and senior visiting surgeon, Modbury Hospital.

He was Chairman, South Australian State Committee (1976-8); Chairman, Section of History Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (1980-2) and Chairman, Section of Military Surgery (1980-2) of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He was appointed honorary surgeon, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1978 and in 1986 became a Member of the Military Division of the Order of Australia for services to military surgery.

Throughout his life he has maintained an active interest in cricket as a player for some fifty years and for forty years as honorary surgeon for the South Australian Cricket Association and the Australian Cricket Board.

In 1990 he was able to give greater attention to his private surgical practice. In 1993 he was awarded the title of Ambassador for Peace by Republic of Korea.