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Charles William Laver (1863–1937)

Dr. Charles William Laver, one of the West Australian goldfields pioneers died yesterday. He was 71 years of age.

He had been in failing health for some time, but on Thursday was about the town and appeared as hale and hearty as ever. A sudden heart attack at 1.30 a.m. yesterday, however, proved fatal.

The late Dr. Layer was a native of Castlemaine, Victoria. He had completed his medical studies before he reached the age of 21 years, but could not practice until he attained his majority. So he came to Western Australia and took up pastoral areas in the Kimberleys. There, in 1884, he camped with Phillip Saunders, the discoverer of the first payable gold in this State, on the Ord River. Later, Dr. Laver went to Great Britain for a post-graduate course and obtained the degrees of L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S. (Edin., 1894),. L.M. (Edin. and Glasgow, 1S94), and L.F.P.S. (Glasgow, 1894).

He was a brilliant medical man and only a year or so ago submitted a paper on the treatment1 of cancer, without surgical operations to the International Medical Congress in London, where his paper aroused considerable interest in medical circles.

After taking his course in the Old Country, Dr. Laver returned to this State and found the lure of prospecting greater thaa that of medical research or practice. He was interested in the British Flag mine at Laverton, which town was named after him. In recent years he was interested in the Lake View, South.

Dr. Laver was an incurable optimist as far as mining was concerned, but he was far more successful in medicine. For the past 30 years he had not lost one case of pneumonia. When the outbreak of Spanish influenza (or pneumonic influenza) occurred in 1918, he was asked to take charge of Blackboy Camp hospital, and his work there was of such a nature that there was not one more fatal case after his arrival.

His services were recognised last year when he was awarded the King's Jubilee Medal.

He leaves a widow, two daughters and four sons. One son is Dr. Jack Laver, another is an engineer, the third is an architect, and the other is a student at St. George's College at the Perth University.

He was a brother of the late Frank Laver, the famous Australian Test cricketer, while a surviving brother is Processor W. A. Laver, Ormonde professor of music at Melbourne University.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Laver, Charles William (1863–1937)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


26 June, 1863
Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia


14 May, 1937 (aged 73)
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

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Religious Influence

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