Victor BEST


BEST, Victor

Service Number: 3122
Enlisted: 4 October 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 50th Infantry Battalion
Born: Adelaide, South Australia, 1897
Home Town: Norwood, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Broncho Pneumonia, Military Hospital, Sutton Veny, Wiltshire, England, 7 April 1917
Cemetery: Sutton Veny (St. John) Churchyard
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Norwood War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

4 Oct 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private
16 Dec 1916: Involvement Private, SN 3122, 50th Infantry Battalion
16 Dec 1916: Embarked Private, SN 3122, 50th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Berrima, Adelaide


Mrs. M Whipp, of William street, Norwood, has been notified that her brother Pte Victor Best, died of pneumonia in Sutton Veney Military Hosptial, England, on April 7. He was the son of the late George and Isabella Best. He left Adelaide on December 18 last, with the 8th Reinforcements of the 50th Battalion. The deceased was employed at the Waverley Vinegar Works. He was of a happy disposition, and was well liked by all who knew him.

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Victor Best of the 50th battalion was initially like any young Australian joining the war, but overall was very insignificant to the progression and overall outcome of the war. Never the less he still gave his life in effort to fight for his country.

He was born in 1897 in Norwood of Adelaide in South Australia. He grew up like an average Australian boy until his parents died when he was just a young child. Victor’s half-sister, Margaret Whipp stepped in to foster him until he would leave home to live by himself. Before he enlisted for World War 1, Victor worked as a labourer doing simple jobs for people. He was quite tall at the size of 5 foot 10 inches and he was of a medium complexion with dark brown hair and blue eyes. He followed the Catholic religion passed down to him by his parents and he also remained single for his whole life.

People during World War 1 believed that going out to war would be a great experience. It gave them a chance to pursue nationalism and pride for their own country. They had reason to believe this because advertisement highly encouraged that men should join the war. Very rarely or maybe never did the advertisement explain just how bad that the war would be. It is automatically anticipated that your side is going to win, that victory will be the conclusion. That was not always the case. This would have most likely been the drive that Victor would have possessed in order to sign up for the war.

Troops that had enlisted for the war were put into groups called ‘battalions”. Victor was part of the 8th reinforcement of the 50th battalion. The purpose of the 50th battalion was to go to fight among the trenches in France and Belgium which was also known as the Western Front. The 50th battalion was partly conjoined by the 10th and 12th battalion and was mainly filled with some of the newly enlisted troops like Victor.

Victor Best embarked on his trip from Adelaide on the 16th of December 1916 on the troop ship ‘Berrima’. The ship was initially being used to carry immigrants from the United Kingdom to Australia via Cape Town. In 1914 the Berrima was fitted with guns and was then used for troop transportation and other military use. The Berrima then disembarked in Devonport, England on the 16th of February 1917.

Unfortunately, not long after his arrival to England, Victor became very sick, after a month being admitted and discharged from hospital, Victor eventually passed away in Sutton Veny military hospital from bronchial pneumonia on the 7th of April 1917. He was laid to rest on the 18th in Sutton Veny graveyard. Victor was very unexposed to action within the war because of his death followed so early after leaving home. The 50th battalion had not even reached its destination yet which gives an understanding that he barely had chance to hold a gun.