Victor Herbert USHER

Badge Number: S4142 / 85809, Sub Branch: St. Morris
S4142 / 85809

USHER, Victor Herbert

Service Number: 1367
Enlisted: 12 December 1914, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 7th Infantry Battalion
Born: Norwood, South Australia, 11 July 1896
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Electrician
Died: Natural Causes, Adelaide, South Australia, 10 October 1978, aged 82 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
RSL Wall 109 Plot: E009
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World War 1 Service

12 Dec 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1367, Adelaide, South Australia
15 Feb 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1367, 12th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
15 Feb 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1367, 12th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Itonus, Adelaide
6 Sep 1915: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 1367, 12th Infantry Battalion
25 Jul 1918: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1367, 7th Infantry Battalion
24 Dec 1918: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 1367, 7th Infantry Battalion, Cessation of Hostilities

from family information

Victor Herbert was the son of William Usher and Mary Ann Sophia nee Bates, born 11th June 1896 at Norwood. His father and mother owned the Bates' Salve company at Norwood which was a well known healing cream. Victor was an Electrician and enlisted in WW1. Served 405 in AIF. From Centennial Park records:
Victor Herbert Usher from LEABROOK Date of Death: 10/10/1978 Age: 82 Years
Interment Details: Cremation Section: RSL Walls Row: W Path: 109 Site: E009
Licence Number: 260689 Licence Expiry Date: 12/10/2003.
The Bates' Salve story is as follows;
BATES' SALVE. There is quite a romance concerning the history of "Bates' Salve," which, although the product of an Adelaide man's ingenuity, is now known all over the world because of its value in curing cuts, bites, bruises, burns, whitlows, chilblains, sore lips, inflamed eyes, corns, rheumatism, warts, and many other ills. The salve is especially effective in cases of bronchitis, and marvelous cures have been wrought by its agency. The late Mr. Bates, the original maker of the salve, resided in Norwood for many years, having arrived in South Australia in the early fifties - in 1851 - more than 60 years ago - he sold his recipe to an English firm, with the right to make and sell it in all parts of the world, except Australia. The registered proprietor of Bates' Salve for the Commonwealth is Mr. W. Usher, of Birrel-street, Norwood, a son-in-law of the original owner of the recipe. There is a large local sale for his product, which is well known for its excellence.
GRANDCHILD WEDS ADELAIDE, Wednesday. Mr. William Usher, of Norwood, the man for whose sake alone in Australia the Minister for Customs introduced a heavy increase in the duty on Bates' Salve, married the grand-daughter of the late William Bates, founder of the salve. Mr. Usher claimed today that when the line was sold to an English firm 80 years ago the Australian trade was reserved for Bates' heirs. However, chemists had sent to England for supplies and in Australia the product came to be described as an imitation, whereas the English product was made from the South Australian recipe.
The Argus Newspaper June 1931. PROTECTING "BATES'S SALVE" One Man Employed Part-time.
Bates's Salve, which possesses various therapeutic properties, one of which is said to be in the removal or abatement of boils. On July 10, 1930, the Minister for Trade and Customs referred to the Tariff Board for increased rates of duty on Bates's Salve. Owing to the fact that the applicant for increased protection was resident in Adelaide the inquiry was opened there: it was continued in Melbourne and in Sydney but the only witness who appeared at the inquiry was the applicant, who gave evidence in support of his request and was duly examined by the board. The applicant, it is stated, is the only manufacturer of Bates's Salve in Australia. He manufactures approximately 500 gross sticks annually which he estimates represents 75 per cent. of the total Australian consumption. "It is clear that owing to the limited demand the manufacture of the whole Australian requirement would not keep one man in employment throughout the year," states the board. "The applicant engages in the work intermittently on receipt of orders and at times employs the services of some of his children to cut and wrap up the salve." The board has carefully considered the costs of production in the South Australian Bates's Salve factory. In view of the circumstances, however, it does not consider that any increase in duties is justified and it therefore recommends that the rates remain the same as specified in the Customs tariff 1921-1930.
Adelaide News, August 1936
Business Left to Family
Mr. William Usher, of Birrell street, Norwood, a manufacturer, who died on July 20. left estate sworn not to exceed in value £13,027/6/6. subject to deductions for liabilities if any. His Commonwealth rights to the trade mark of "Bates Salve" and his business under the name of "Bates & Co." were left under the will to his family, and the wish expressed that the business should be continued by his widow and children under the management of his widow. Probate of the will has been granted.
The Advertiser March 1909; Advertising may boom an article, but it takes some merit to keep it going; this is what Bates' Salve is doing, for over 50 years it has been made in Adelaide and has a greater sale today than ever; this fact speaks volumes for it, especially when we think how many other remedies have been put on the market in opposition to it. In the year 1853 Mr. Bates sold to a firm in England the recipe and right to make and sell Bates' Salve, reserving that right for Australia to himself. Many old Adelaide residents will remember the factory in Waymouth-street, where Mr. Bates not only made the salve but did quite a large business as a manufacturing chemist. This world-famous remedy is still made by his descendants, who are living at Norwood and who have recently received some gratifying testimony to its efficacy in curing bronchitis in children, several cures being effected in cases that were given up as incurable, while most of us know how useful we have proved it in curing boils, burns, bruises, cuts. chilblains, corns, and the thousand and one mishaps that cross our paths from day to day.
FOX KILLED AT NORWOOD Second In Two Months A fox, the second in two months was killed yesterday on the property of Bates' Salve factory, where Mr. W. Usher, of Birrell street, Norwood, resides. Mr. Usher said that while he and his family were having lunch one of the family noticed a scuffling noise outside. On looking through a window they saw about 100 fowls, ducks, and turkeys rounded up in one comer of the yard by a fox. When they went outside, the fox had disappeared, but in endeavoring to escape it became entangled in a barbed wire fence. One of its hind legs caught, and before it could free itself one of the party knocked it on the head. Mr. Usher added that one of his turkeys had been taken on Tuesday night. He thought that the fox might have eaten it. Mr. Usher shot a fox on the property about two months ago, the first he had seen there.

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Biography contributed by Glenunga International High School


World War 1 was a military conflict lasting from 1914 to 1918 which was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28th June, 1914. The war was between Russia, The United States, most nations of Europe, Australia along with other regions.

Some key dates of World War One are:

28th June, 1914 – Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

30th June, 1914 – Russia mobilises, causing many other nations to begin mobilising too.

4th August, 1914 – Germany invades Belgium, commencing World War 1.

22nd April, 1915 – Germany begin to use chlorine filled shells, which spark the notion to use large amounts of gas in battle.

6th April, 1917 – U.S enters war and joins France and Britain’s side, the Alliance.

9th November, 1918 – Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates, resulting in Germany’s loss of the war.

11th November, 1918 – Armistice Day. Marks the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front.

Life Before The War

On the 9th of July, 1896, the son of William and Mary Ann Usher, Victor Herbert, was born in the town of Norwood, South Australia. He was born an only child, and never gained any siblings. Brought up in Adelaide, he worked as an electrician prior to his enlistment in early December, 1914. His mother and father owned the "Bates’ Salve Co." which was a cream known to heal cuts, bites, bruises, burns etc.

Life In Service

On the 12th of December, 1914, in his hometown, Adelaide, Victor enlisted for the war at the age of 19. He was immediately assigned to the 12th Infantry Battalion which is a unit of the Australian Imperial Force. The battalion was predominantly involved in defending the front line on the ANZAC position and also accompanying two companies on the attack to Lone Pine. From March 16 till the end of the war, the unit took part in bitter trench warfare.

Victor embarked on the H.M.A.T “Itonus” from Adelaide on the 15th of February, 1915, which led him to Suez, Egypt. He later embarked on the “Suevic” at Suez, on the 28th of May, 1915 and later disembarked in Melbourne.

On the 24th of May, 1915, Victor had a medical examination and was then medically discharged on the 6th of September, 1915.

Almost three years after his discharge, Victor enlisted yet again, on the 25th of July, 1918. He was 22 years at the time, and had married shortly after his prior discharge. He served as a private on duty from the 2nd of September, 1918.

He was then transferred to the 7th Battalion and served as a private right up to the end of the war. He was then discharged on the 24th of December, 1918 in Mitcham, Adelaide, due to cessation of hostilities.

After The War

Post war, Victor worked as a civil servant. He and his wife, Jean Isabel, never had any children and they lived in Adelaide together.

On the 10th of October, 1978, Victor passed away due to natural causes and was later buried in the Centennial Park Cemetery, located in Mitcham, Adelaide. His grave is placed on RSL Wall 109, and his plot is E009.  

Victor was one of the mere 200,000 Australian soldiers who survived the war. Many of those who survived, later died due to conditions such as PTSD and shellshock and often took their own lives. More than 9.7 million of the soldiers who fought in WW1, died from the mental and emotional conditions that came with service in the war.