Legacy for the future

Dr Alan Beauclerk died 13 years ago leaving his estate to Severn Hospice. Here we remember Dr Beauclerk and look at how his legacy will help fund the future of hospice care in Shropshire.

This article featured in the Shropshire Magazine in August 2022, click here to read the full story

Dr Alan Beauclerk was born in Oswestry in 1954. With his sister Eleanor, young Alan spent summer holidays on the Welsh coast near Fairbourne and on the family farm in Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain where their mum spent many happy holidays as a child, and their grandmother before her.

Showing signs of being more advanced than his peers, the studious Dr Beauclerk passed the eleven plus when he was only nine years old and went on to university to read biochemistry at 17.

After finishing university in Aberystwyth he worked as a researcher for the now Wellcome Foundation based in Warwick University and Leicester University.

Although Dr Beauclerk was a keen golfer and cricketer, his scientific research was of great importance and he turned down the offer to play cricket for Sussex, choosing study over a sporting career. Dr Beauclerk then followed his ambitions into a career as a scientist gaining a PHD in biochemistry specialising in blue-green algae.

In the eighties, when scientific funding was cut for the diabetes research project he was working on, he was offered more research work in Germany and America. After consideration, Dr Beauclerk turned the opportunities down, returning to his hometown of Oswestry to work for his father’s Volkswagen garage on Victoria Road.

In 2008, Dr Beauclerk sadly became ill with a brain tumour aged 54.

His sister, Eleanor Beauclerk, recalls how she felt when her brother started receiving care from Severn Hospice saying: “We had all heard of the hospice as friends had received excellent care over the years.

“The whole family thought a hospice was a great idea, however we knew it wasn’t funded despite the value to our community.”

Very quickly the tumour affected Alan’s speech and ability to read or write. “For someone with Alan’s intelligence, a PHD doctor of biochemistry with a mind that works overtime, not being able to communicate must have been truly terrible,” Eleanor added.

At this point Dr Beauclerk was referred to Severn Hospice where he received regular support.

Eleanor would drive her brother to the hospice where she would sit in the car outside and wait for him to return from his session.

“How the staff conversed with him I do not know, but it worked.

“The hospice for him was a source of strength, it must have been – he kept going back and he was not the sort of person who would do that unless he received great benefit.

“I can imagine that when you are faced with something like death, it is invaluable to have someone outside of the family to talk to and support you.”

Dr Beauclerk’s prognosis from the experts was 18 months, however a surgeon mentioned six months. Tragically, the surgeon was correct.

Having only been diagnosed with a brain tumour the year before, and aged only 55, Dr Alan Beauclerk died on May 15, 2009. In April 2009, benevolent Dr Beauclerk had drawn up his will with his solicitor friend, with his legacy to primarily support his sister Eleanor during her lifetime, then to benefit Severn Hospice.

Eleanor adds: “I know Alan’s legacy was that he wanted to give back to Severn Hospice for all the help he received.

“When I die, I know the real difference that that money will make.” On several occasions since Alan’s death, Eleanor has kindly arranged for funds to be released to help those facing the worst news you can hear.

Specialist and palliative medical equipment to relieve pain, as well as physiotherapy exercise machines, and sofa beds for relatives to stay by the side of their loved ones have been provided. “I felt I needed to help, and I truly appreciate the work that is done by Severn Hospice,” Eleanor adds.

“The charity is there for everyone – I might need it; anyone might need it. Severn Hospice outreach team do a brilliant job.”

Severn Hospice’s Elodie Home says: “Dr Beauclerk’s legacy is one of kindness that will live on and help fund the future of hospice care in Shropshire and we could not be more grateful. The Beauclerk’s contribution will make a vast difference and more families will benefit from our care in the coming years, as they have already because of Alan and Eleanor’s generosity.

“Remembering Severn Hospice in your will means other won’t struggle as much when they hear the worst news, because we are committed to helping those living with incurable illnesses have better care and more time to create precious memories.”

A gift in your will is a memory that never fades, find out more by clicking here.


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