No.3794 Private Victor Otto Theodore Hester
Victor Otto Theodore Hester was born in 1893 to Victor Emmanuel Hester and Catherine Rosina Otto at Lake Boga.
Some of his siblings were:
- Violet Christina Augusta Hester - born 1888 in Raywood
- Herschell Ivy Alice Hester - born 1890 at Raywood
- Beatrice Myrtle Hester - born 1891 at Swan Hill
- John Lester Hester - born 1895 at Lake Boga
- George Alexander Hester - born 1897 at Lake Boga
- Ernest Arthur Hester - born 1899 at Miners Rest
- Norman Leonard Hester - born 1901 at Geelong
- Kitty Hermine Hester - born 1902 at Geelong
- Daphne Daisy Olive Hester - born 1905 at Collingwood
- Florence Charlotte Emily Hester - born 1907 at Coburg
- Dulcie Rita Crutlia Hester - born 1912 at Footscray
Victor Hester enlisted in the A.I.F. at Melbourne on 31 July 1915 as a Private, and was sent to D Company of the 10th Battalion at Broadmeadows, for training, until 21 October 1915. (At enlistment, he didn’t declare his other Christian names.) After graduating, he was appointed to the 12th reinforcements of the 6th Battalion.
Prior to his embarkation overseas, Private Victor Hester was given a public send off at the Kingsville Hall, in Kingsville (West Footscray). This function was attended by 60 couples.
The Independent (Footscray, Vic), 20 November 1915, p.2.
The 6th Infantry Battalion, 10 to 12th reinforcements embarked at Melbourne on 23 November 1915, per HMAT Ceramic A40. On the roll, Victor stated that he was formerly a labourer, and that he lived with his parents at Edgar Street in West Footscray. The reinforcements were taken to Egypt for further training.
On 3 March 1916, the 6th Battalion was at the N.Z. Training Camp at Zeitoun (N.E. of Cairo), when Victor was charged with leaving camp, improperly dressed. His punishment was the forfeiture of one day's pay.
The 6th Infantry Battalion reinforcements embarked from Alexandria on 29 March 1916, per H.T. Transylvania, to join the British Expeditionary Force. After one week’s sailing, they disembarked at Marseilles, and proceeded to join their Unit who were already at the Etaples Divisional Base Depot, in France.
On 3 August 1917, the 6th Battalion were fighting in the Cassel area. At this time Private Hester was promoted to Lance Corporal.
In early September of 1917, Victor Hester was granted 10 days leave in England, and he then returned to his Battalion in the Le Verrier area. They were still undergoing training.
On 20 September 1917, the Battalion came under enemy attack while they were in the Zillebeke Bund dugouts. Victor was wounded seriously in this action. He received gunshot wounds to his back and left arm. Multiple fragments had entered his back, and he was unable to stand. He was first treated by the 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, before being returned to England.
He was evacuated to the Bath War Hospital for further treatment, and admitted there on 6 October 1917.
The Independent (Footscray, Vic), 6 October 1917, p.2 reported that Private Victor Hester of the 6th Battalion Lewis Gun Section had been dangerously wounded in the back and left arm.
After 74 days treatment in Bath, he was discharged, and transferred to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford.
A further medical report at Dartford, dated 26 December 1917 stated that there was much scarring to both sides of his back, and that he still couldn’t stand up straight.
On 27 December 1917, he was discharged to the No 2 Commonwealth Depot at Weymouth. Then on 4 January 1918 he was declared to be permanently unfit for general service, and unfit for home service for at least six months.
Lance Corporal Hester embarked in England on 30 January 1918, per Hospital Transport Ship Euripides, to return to Australia. He disembarked at Melbourne on 21 March 1918. He was formally discharged from the A.I.F. at Melbourne on 19th September 1918.
On 25 June 1919, a large Welcome Home function was held in the Werribee Mechanic’s Hall. Lance Corporal V.O.T. Hester of the 6th Battalion was one of many to be presented with a Shire of Werribee Gold Medal by Brigadier-General Brand.
The Werribee Shire Banner, 26 June 1919, p.3.
In 1924, Victor Otto Theodore Hester married Alice Ruby Firth, in Victoria. They lived at Munro Street in Coberg until 1927, and he worked as a motor-driver.
Victor O. T. Hester died in Sydney on 28 April 1975, and is buried in the Woronora Cemetery at Sutherland in Sydney.
Victor’s sister, Violet Christina married Joseph Grabrovaz and lived in the Kingsville district. She died at Werribee in 1978.
Medals & Entitlements:
- 1914/15 Star
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
Victorian Federation Index 1889-1901 CD
Victorian Edwardian Index 1902-1913 CD
Marriage Index Victoria 1921-1942 CD
War Service Record - http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/
Death – ancestry.com.au