HISTORY OF BEAUCHAMP HOUSE SURGERY By Dr H Missen
Beauchamp House Surgery has been in the current building for many years. What is the history of the name and the history of the building and its partners? Where does the name “Beauchamp” House come from?
Dr. Sir Ivor Beauchamp, a returning missionary founded the practice in the 1940’s and obtained the current building from the local vet! A different use of medical caring! He had worked in China as a Christian missionary, first with his father, Sir Montague Proctor Beauchamp, who was a member of a group of missionaries named The Cambridge Seven. This group knew that God wanted them to serve him in China and so they all gave up promising careers to do that. The group included C.T.Studd, the famous English cricketer and they were the religious celebrities of the 19th century.
Dr. Beauchamp’s father, Sir Montague Proctor Beauchamp had a baronetcy in Langley Park, Norfolk and he died in 1939. The baronetcy passed over to Dr. Beauchamp as the 3rd son of Montague Proctor Beauchamp as the two elder brothers either deceased him or had no children. This meant that he inherited, not only the baronetcy, but also an important set of pictures and some Chippendale furniture. When he was a partner, living in the Chelmsford area at Ulting Hall, the will stipulated that all of these items should be on show and not incarcerated in store. This meant that he had to have the large Hall to grant the wishes of his father. Practice meetings at the Hall were greatly appreciated!
Dr. Sir Ivor had to leave China because of the advance of the Japanese and the bombing of Pearl Harbour during World War 2. This was when he came to Chelmsford. All the missionary’s children in China were prisoners in their own school and one of them was Dr. Josephine Houghton who was a GP at Beauchamp house from the 70’s onwards. Another person in the camp was the Olympic medalist, Eric Liddell of “Chariots of Fire” fame. We kept the link with China Inland Mission as we were medical advisors for them until 2004
Other returning missionaries from Rwanda and Israel joined Sir Ivor in the 1942 and a branch surgery was set up, in what was called Market Road at the time. In 1970, major changes to the layout of the surgery were under taken as well as an extension, which was even larger than the original building. The branch surgery was then brought to Baddow Road and Dr. Beauchamp, the founder of the surgery, helped in the planning of what was called “The New Jerusalem”! The design was modern in so far that there were separate consulting rooms and examination rooms and administration space was enlarged and eventually took over the flat, which was above the original building. When Sir Ivor retired, he then was ordained into the Anglican ministry and became “The Reverend, Doctor, Sir, Ivor Proctor Beauchamp, Bart”. We only use the name “Beauchamp”!
The practice has been involved in outside work over the years and the largest of these were the positions in the Essex Police force as Force Medical Officer and Chelmsford Police Surgeon. We have also been active in The Red Cross, factory inspection and outpatient clinics at the hospital. In house, we have trained many prospective young G.P.’s which has been a considerable, but worthwhile task.
Doctors have come and gone over the years with the number of doctors varying from 4 to 7, plus all the registrars and administrative staff. “The rest is history”
The partners who have practised at Beauchamp House Surgery:
Ivor Beauchamp Bart
Norman Green, missionary from Rwanda
Cyril Politeyan from Church mission to the Jews
Robin Catlin secretary of the Methodist Revival Fellowship
Josephine Houghton, daughter of Stanley Houghton, headmaster of
the Chefoo school in China.
Arthur Banks missionary from North India
Basil Wright retired missionary from Africa
Rachel Warden retired missionary
Richard (Dick) Taylor
Richard (Dick) Davies
We aspire to:
- Offer a high standard of medical care, which recognizes the importance of physical, psychological and spiritual factors for health and wellbeing.
- Work in partnership with our patients to provide care which is centred on the needs of each patient.
- Value and respect each person, regardless of age, sex, race or religion.
- Use the resources available to us as equitably and effectively as possible.
- Provide a positive model of General Practice care for those who train and learn with us.
Although all the current Partners are practising Christians, our practice aims are not sectarian. However, we expect all our personnel, medical and non-medical, to maintain our practice ethos.