Phillips, William Ward (No. 1535781)

Phillips, William Ward

Lance Bombardier

No. 1535781, 7/4 Maritime Regiment, Royal Artillery

Killed in action at sea on Thursday 11 September 1941 (aged 33)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England (Panel 62 Column 2)

Campbell College, Belfast

BIOGRAPHY

In the CWGC Debt of Honour website it is recorded that Lance Bombardier William Ward Phillips (No. 1535781) was a son of William and Josephine Hamilton Phillips of Holywood, Co Down.

William Ward Phillips was born on 28 August 1908 in Knock Valley House, North Road, Belfast, and he was a son of William and Josephine Hamilton Sheddin Phillips (nee Ward) who were married on 11 April 1906 in St. Mary Magdalene Church of Ireland Church, Belfast.

The Phillips family addresses included 105 North Road, Belfast and Tremona, 27 Knockdene Park, Belfast.

[Coincidentally, an unrelated family who had lived for a time at Tremona lost a son during the First World War.  Second Lieutenant Thomas Brignall Elliott who was a son of Thomas and Annie Elliott and who served with the 10th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles was killed in action on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.]

William Phillips Senior worked as a salesman/manager in the linen business and he and Josephine had at least six children:

Josephine (born 2 February 1907 in Knock Valley House, North Road, Belfast)

William Ward (born 28 August 1908 in Knock Valley House, North Road, Belfast)

Noel (born 25 December 1909 in Knock Valley House, North Road, Belfast)

Maurice Cecil (born 31 July 1911 in Knock Valley House, North Road, Belfast)

John Arthur (14 December 1912 in Knock Valley House, Bloomfield, North Road, Belfast)

Mary (born 18 September 1916)

William Ward Phillips attended Campbell College, Belfast from January 1918 until April 1921 and then the King’s Hospital Church of Ireland School in Palmerstown, Dublin.  His brother Noel also attended Campbell College before going to the Masonic Boy’s School in Dublin.

After leaving school William Ward Phillips worked as an apprentice with F. Kirkpatrick and Company (Wholesale Tea Merchants), 27 Oxford Street, Belfast and then as an agent in Belfast with the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada at which time he lived at 1 Spokane Villas, Knock Road, Belfast.

During the Second World War, Lance Bombardier William Ward Phillips (No. 1535781) served with the 7/4 Maritime Regiment, Royal Artillery and he was 33 when he was killed in action at sea on Thursday 11 September 1941.

There is evidence that he was one of ten Royal Artillery gunners who were killed while serving aboard four merchant ships (SS Berury, SS Empire Crossbill, SS Gypsum Queen and SS Stonepool) that were sunk by German U-boats while on route from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Liverpool in Convoy SC-42.

Lance Bombardier William Ward Phillips’s effects amounted to some £930 and probate was granted to his widowed mother.  His home address was recorded as Mountpleasant, Victoria Road, Holywood.