Service number 87614
Born: March 18th 1899
Died: June 6th 1941
Philip was born at Sunnycroft, Trowbridge, Wiltshire on March 18th 1899 to Thomas Charles Usher and his wife, Constance Emma Bell. He had a younger sister. His father was a brewer.
In 1911, he was at school at Hamilton House, Bath. He matriculated in 1919 and was awarded the Westin Scholarship.
After being ordained he was appointed Domestic Chaplain to the Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt. Rev, Arthur Cayley Headlam C.H. who had been Regius Professor of Divinity from 1918 until 1923 and under whose influence Philip came whilst at Christ Church. Headlam gave the Bampton Lectures in 1920, taking the theme of ecumenism. He was influential in the Church of England's council on foreign relations in the 1930s, chairing the Committee on Relations with Episcopal Churches.
From 1924 until 1926, Philip was the Chaplain at St. George’s Church, Jerusalem. In 1930, he returned to Gloucester as Chaplain to Bishop Headlam, a position he held until he moved to London in 1937 when he was appointed Chaplain at the Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley Street.
He was Warden of Liddon House at the outbreak of the war.
Two brothers, the Revd Canon J A Douglas, then Vicar of St Luke, Camberwell, and the Revd C E Douglas, both notable figures in the Anglican Catholic revival, founded the Liddon Society in August 1905. The Douglas brothers had travelled in the Near East and were ahead of their time in having an interest in the Eastern Churches. As a result the Society had a role in the foundation of the Catholic Literature Association and the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches’ Association. It also supported the Nikaean Club and provided grants for visiting Orthodox theological students.
The object of the Society was to create” an Association of Christians in communion with the See of Canterbury for mutual assistance in the work of Christ’s Church and for the furtherance of such charitable undertakings as may from time to time be decided upon, more especially for the popularisation of the Catholic faith.”
The Liddon Society was called after The Revd Canon Professor Henry Parry Liddon (1829-1890) who was a prominent member of the second generation Oxford Movement group of clergy and theologians. A disciple of Pusey he was latterly a canon of St Paul’s Cathedral and Dean Ireland Professor of Exegesis of Holy Scripture in the University of Oxford.
After 1906, a house in Kensington was established as a religious centre in London for educated young people. In 1935, it took on the lease of Faith House in Westminster, which provided a base for the activities of the Society, in particular a bookshop for the Faith Press.
On November 12th 1940, Philip was gazetted to the RAF VR with the rank of Squadron Leader.
Philip died on active service near Jerusalem on June 6th 1941. His father had died on May 27th in Trowbridge.
He is buried in the Ramleh War Cemetery Plot P 1
A Memorial Celebration of Holy Communion was rendered at the Grosvenor Chapel at 11.00.a.m. on the Friday after the announcement of his death.
He left £15,369-4-5
The Philip Usher Memorial Fund [Registered Charity no. 313857] was set up to
“ESTABLISH A SCHOLARSHIP TO ENABLE A STUDENT TO SPEND A PERIOD IN A COUNTRY IN WHICH PART OF THE POPULATION PRACTISES THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION ACCORDING TO THE DOCTRINE AND RITUAL OF THE EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH, IN ORDER TO STUDY THE OUTLOOK AND MODE OF LIFE OF SUCH PART OF THE POPULATION.”