Mark Yeatman SHEPPARD

SHEPPARD, Mark Yeatman

Service Number: SX19049
Enlisted: 7 January 1943, Wayville, South Australia
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: General Hospitals - WW2
Born: St Peters, South Australia, 9 April 1919
Home Town: St Peters, Norwood Payneham St Peters, South Australia
Schooling: Brighton Public School, Pultney Grammar School, St Peters College and Adelaide University, South Australia
Occupation: Medical Practitioner
Died: Walkerville,, South Australia, 24 December 2022, aged 103 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Brighton St Judes Anglican Church WW2 Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

7 Jan 1943: Enlisted Captain, SN SX19049, Wayville, South Australia
7 Jan 1943: Enlisted SN SX19049, General Hospitals - WW2
8 Jan 1943: Involvement Captain, SN SX19049
15 Jul 1946: Discharged Captain, SN SX19049, General Hospitals - WW2
15 Jul 1946: Discharged SN SX19049, General Hospitals - WW2
Date unknown: Involvement

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Biography contributed by Annette Summers

SHEPPARD Mark Yeatman 1919 - current


Mark Yeatman Sheppard was born, in South Australia, on 9th April 1919.  He was the third of five children of Bernard Aubrey Sheppard and Constance Ethel, nee Yeatman, who lived in the beachside suburb of Seacliff, South Australia. His grandfather Dr John Walter Yeatman and his uncle Dr Charleton Yeatman, who served in WW1, WW2 and BCOF, encouraged Sheppard to pursue a career in medicine. Sheppard was educated at Brighton Primary School, Pulteney Grammar and then St Peter’s College, where he was in the school cadet corps from 1933 to 1936.  He studied medicine at the University of Adelaide where he graduated MB BS in 1942.  While at university he served in the CMF, from 1938 until 1940, with 3 FdAmb. He undertook his resident medical officer year at the RAH in 1942. Sheppard married Mary Alexandriana Bidstrup, a nurse at the RAH, on 19th June 1943, at St Peter’s College Chapel. She was the daughter of Peter Cecil Bidstrup and Nellie Ray, nee Boord of Strathalbyn.

Sheppard enlisted, at the rank of captain, in the AAMC, 2/AIF, on 7th January 1943 at Wayville, SA. He named his wife Mary as his next of kin. He served, within Australia, until 15th July 1946. He was attached to 101 AGH and attended the school of tropical medicine and military hygiene, with a posting to serve in PNG. A week before he was due to join the AHS Centaur, in Brisbane, for PNG, the posting was cancelled, and he was posted back to 101 AGH in Adelaide. Sheppard remarked that ‘he was bitterly disappointed with not serving overseas’, (a disappointment that remained with him for the rest of his life) but it proved to be fortunate for him, as the AHS Centaur, was torpedoed by the Japanese on 14th May 1943, with the loss of all hands.  101 AGH, in Sept 1943 moved not to New Guinea as expected but to Katherine, NT from 25th August 1943 until 6th January 1944 and Darwin, NT, from 3rd May 1944 until 15th February 1945. After serving with the Australian Coast Artillery, he was appointed a medical officer to Darwin Fortress in January 1945.  Sheppard’s son was born, on 22nd November 1944, while he was in Darwin. Sheppard remembers that the CO toasted his health at the Officers Mess in Darwin at the news of the birth of his first child. He returned to SA, on 31st July 1945, attached to 105 Military Hospital. His two older brothers Digby and David Sheppard served 2/10 Bn and 2/27 Bn respectively.

Sheppard returned to civilian practice, in Adelaide, where he was assistant to the Director of Surgery at the University of Adelaide, from 1947 to 1949, and then went into general practice in Woodville, SA, until 1955.  He obtained the FRACS, in 1953.  Sheppard and his family went to England, in 1955, where he worked as a senior registrar at Harrow Hospital in London and received his FRCS in 1956. He returned to Adelaide, and was a clinical assistant at the RAH, until 1965, then as a surgeon at the RGH, SA from 1967, operating a varicose veins clinic until 1980. He had a long experience in treating varicose veins and presented his work and method of preventing recurrences in the Australian and NZ Journal of surgery now accepted as ‘neovascularisation’. He was the president of the SA Branch of the AMA in 1965 to 1966 and is a fellow of the AMA. Sheppard led a RGH surgical team to Vung Tau in Phuoc Tuy province, South Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. They mainly dealt with trauma from Viet Cong attacks and general surgery – gall bladders and thyroid problems being most common. He continued his work with general surgery until his retirement in 1990. Mark Yeatman Sheppard, at the time of writing, is currently aged 98, and he  cared for wife Mary, at Walkerville, who died in 2018, after 74 years of marriage.


Blood, Sweat and Fears III: Medical Practitioners South Australia, who Served in World War 2. 

Swain, Jelly, Verco, Summers. Open Books Howden, Adelaide 2019. 

Uploaded by Annette Summers AO RFD