He earned a BSc, from the University of Western Australia in 1952, and DPhil, from the University of Oxford in 1956. In 1960, he won the Rennie Memorial Medal. In 1961, he won a Nuffield Scholarship to study with Sir Derek Barton.
He was married; they had three children.
- Rae, Ian D. (2011). "Athelstan Laurence Johnson Beckwith OA FAA. 20 February 1930 -- 15 May 2010". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2011.0022.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-27. Retrieved 2011-11-09.