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Joseph Lievesley Beeston (1859–1921)

from Newcastle Morning Herald

Colonel Joseph Lievesley Beeston, M.D., M.LOC., C.a.G.. V.D., died suddenly shortly after nine o'clock last night at the residence of his son, Dr. W. R. Beeston, Denison-street, Hamilton.

Death was due to heart failure, but it was entirely unexpected, as earlier in the evening he had professionally attended a patient. Only an hour before he collapse he remarked to a friend that he was feeling in better health than he had for a number of years.

No man will be more missed in the Newcastle community than the late Dr. Beeston, and the intelligence of his death will be received with deep regret througn out the State. His kindly dispositlon, no less than his, ability, endeared him to all who knew him, while his great interest in many pursuits brought him into direct contact with all classes. The late Dr. Beeston was a son of the late John Lievesley Beeston, and was born in Newcastle 63 years ago. He is survived by a widow, two sons, Dr. W. R. Beeston, who is in practice in Newcastle, and Engineer-Lieutenant Commander S. L. Beeston, R.A.N., and one daughter, Miss Eileen Loila Beeston. The deceased gentleman received his early education in Newcastle. His first introduction to the medical profession was under the auspices of Dr. S. T. Knaggs, but later went to Ireland, where he took his degrees at the King and Queen's College of Physicians and Royal College of Suregeons at Dublin, qualifying at the ago of 21 years. Returning to Australia he became assistant to Dr. S. T. Knaggs, in conjunction with the late Dr. W. C. Ashe. When Dr. Knaggs relinquished his practice it was carried on by Dr. Beeston and Dr. Ashe. In 1888 Dr. Ashe severed the association, and Dr. Beeston carried on the practice with the co-operation of Dr. S.W. L. Eames and Dr. Wilfred Nickson. Later Dr. Eames took up his own practice, and during the following years the late Mr. Beeston continued the work in conjunction with Dr. Nickson. During the past twelve months the deceased gentleman realised the necessity of relaxing in his work, and Dr. C. A. F. Clark became associated with him, and relieved him of a considerable portion of the heavy professional work. About 18 months ago while engaged in a surgical operation Dr. Beeston contracted blood poisoning, which unquestionably undermined his health.

The late Dr. Beeston, among his other activities, was for many years attached to the military forces. Prior to the war he was officer-commanding the Fourth Army Medical Corps at Newcastle, and reached the rank of Lieutenant-colonel. Upon the outbreak of the war in 1914 Lieutenant-colonel Beeston was one of the first man to offer his services and in this he was strongly supported by the men of his corps. He left Australia on December 22, 1914, with the Fourth Field Ambulance of the Australian Millitary Forces, and served on the Gallipoli Peninsula with distinction. No man was more highly regarded for his medical ability than the late Colonel Beeston. He was promoted to the full rank of Colonel on the field, and was appointed A.D.M.S. to the Second New Zealand and Australlan Division. He was invalided to England, and for a time was an inmate of the Wandsworth Hospital. When in England he had the honour of C.M.G. conferred upon him, and the distinction of being decorated at Buckingham Palace by King George. The late Colonel Beeston had many interesting experiences at the front, and, these were published under the title of "Five Months at Anzac." Prior to leaving on active service he received the long service decoration of the V.D. He returned to Australia in February, 1916, and resumed his professional duties, finding time also for Parliamentary and civic affairs. He was a member of the Legislative Council, and for a number of years figured in many of its most important debates, his opinions being received with attention and respect. He was one of the first members of the Newcastle Agricultural and Horticultural Association, and held the position of president during the first thirteen years of its existence. As was remarked last evening, "he was no mere ornament, but a live asset in its success." He was a member of the honorary medical staff of the Newcastle Hospital during the whole of his professional career, and for many years had acted as honorary secretary to the medical board. He also held the position of honorary surgeon to the institution.

Dr. J. R. Leslie, speaking of his colleague last night, said that he had been a father as well as a friend to him. His death would be deplored by the medical profession generally. At one period the late Dr. Beeston was president of the New South Wales Branch of the British Medical Assoclation. Among other offices he held in city life was that of president of the Newcastle School of Arts. He was associated with many of the activities of the city and district, and any movement for its well-being had his practical co-operation. No man was better known, and certainly there was no man better liked. His kindly nature and his generous dis position won him hosts of friends. About two years ago the late Dr. Beeston lost his younger brother, the late Mr. J. D. Beeston by death.

The funeral will take place from the Newcastle Cathedral tomorrow afternoon with full military honours.

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Citation details

'Beeston, Joseph Lievesley (1859–1921)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


1 January, 1859
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia


9 March, 1921 (aged 62)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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Military Service
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