Joseph Hervey Clouston


The Metropolitan Infectious Diseases Hospital was established on 7th October 1932 by the South Australian Government, to take over from the overcrowded Infectious Diseases Block at the Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace.  The new hospital was designed to care for and accommodate patients with infectious diseases such as polio, scarlet fever, measles, and diphtheria.

The new Hospital was an autonomous organisation controlled by its own Board of Management and its finance was maintained solely by the contributions of local councils. 

Alderman Joseph Hervey Clouston, JP, served on the Board of Management at the time the new Infectious Diseases Hospital was established, representing the City of Port Adelaide. 

CLOUSTON, Joseph Hervey, J.P.

Joseph Hervey Clouston
(photo sourced from city of port adelaide library)


Joseph Hervey Clouston (also known as Joe Clouston) was born on the 2 Aug 1870 in Lefevre Peninsula, near Port Adelaide, South Australia. 


Clouston’s parents were both born and raised in Stromness, Orkney, Scotland.  His mother, Margaret Murray Hervey, and his father, William Harvey Clouston, married in St Lukes Church, Adelaide South Australia on the 2nd April 1857.   Joseph Hervey Clouston was their 5th child, born in 1870.

Joe Clouston married Florence May Dalziel at the Presbyterian Church Port Adelaide, South Australia, on the 18th December, 1901.

During their married life, Joseph and Florence lived at 18 Fletcher Road, Birkenhead, South Australia.  Their home was called ‘Stromness’.

Joseph and Florence had 4 children:

  • Son, Allen Hervey Clouston, born 28 Jul 1906  Birkenhead, South Australia (died 1972, age 65 years)
  • Son, William Henry Clouston, born 11 Aug 1908  Birkenhead, South Australia, (died 1912, age 3 years)
  • Daughter, Jean Murray Clouston, born 1 Mar 1914  Birkenhead, South Australia, (died 1997, age 83 years)
  • Son, Gordon Dalziel Clouston born 31 Mar 1916  Birkenhead, South Australia, (died 1968, age 51 years)


Joseph Clouston started his working life as a boilermaker, apprenticed at Mr H.C. Fletcher’s Ironworks.  At the time of this newspaper article (in 1917) he was working in the Government Service as a boiler inspector and was taking an active role in municipal affairs. 

He was a Councillor for the North Ward from 1905-1910, Mayor from 1911-1915 and Alderman from 1915-1939 for the Port Adelaide City Council.

News (Adelaide, SA), Monday 8 July 1940, page 4
Port Adelaide News (SA :1913 – 1933), Friday 19 January 1917, page 9


J.H. Clouston, Mayor of Port Adelaide, in approximately 1914, welcoming the Governor General of Australia, Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson after his arrival by sea from England to South Australia.

(Photo sourced from State Library South Australia)

At the time of his death in 1949, one of his colleagues recommended that Joseph Clouston be remembered and acknowledged for his role as ‘author’ of the Birkenhead Bridge. 

Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 – 1954), Thursday 11 August 1949, page 4

An article published in the News on the 8th July 1940 stated that:

“The Birkenhead Bridge is a monument to his foresight and persistence.  He compiled the evidence which influenced the Public Works Committee to recommend its construction.”

A procession of four vehicles (presumably the official party) moving through the crowd gather for the opening of Birkenhead Bridge at Port Adelaide in 1940.

(Photo sourced from State Library South Australia)


Joseph Clouston was a founding member, and served as President of  the Grand Council of the ‘All British League’ an organisation established in South Australia during World War I.  Its objectives were to promote British traditions and culture at the expense of others in the state, especially to suppress any social or political influence from German Australian citizens and residents, whether born in Australia or not.  The league began in Port Adelaide and also established a branch in Adelaide.  It was supported by several community leaders, including the Governor of South Australia, Sir Henry Galway.

The All-British League sought to intern all “subjects of enemy origin” and remove voting rights, prohibit from parliaments, and remove status as Justice of the Peace. The League referred as “alien enemies” not only immigrants from Germany, regardless of whether they had sworn allegiance and been naturalised as British subjects or Australian citizens, but also to their Australian-born descendants.

The league held meetings and recruitment drives in Semaphore Town Hall during the course of the war.  It was explicitly non-partisan in politics but sought to influence whatever politicians were in power.


Joseph Hervey Clouston was an active member of the Port Adelaide Rowing Club for many years and was made a Life Member.  He served as Secretary for the club in 1889-1926, Coach 1906-1909, Captain 1899-1910, President 1924-1939, and Vice Patron 1946-1948.

Port Adelaide Rowing Club Life Member J. H. Clouston, 1906.
(Photo source: State Library of South Australia).
Photo Portrait J. H. Clouston, Port Adelaide Rowing Club, 1940.
(Photo source: State Library of South Australia).

Many outstanding oarsmen rowed for the Club up to the outbreak of war in 1914, the greatest of them being J.H. Clouston, whose long and successful record included the sculling championship from 1890-1910.

Excerpt from ‘Centenary History of Port Adelaide, 1856-1956’, page 134


Joseph Hervey Clouston died at his residence, ‘Stromness’, 18 Fletcher Road, Birkenhead, South Australia
on the 8th August 1949, aged 79. 

He is buried at the Cheltenham Cemetery, Cheltenham, South Australia

(Section L, Drive C, Path # 5/16; Site number 173S).

More Information about the Metropolitan Infectious Diseases Hospital can be found here:

Written by Karyn Baker, CALHN Health Museum Volunteer.