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John Henley Shawe Phillips

Rank: Major

Lifetime: 1867-1919

Major John Henley Shawe Phillips of the Royal Engineers died at his home, Longfield, Broom Road, then in the postal district of Hampton Wick, on 28 September 1919. He is buried in Teddington Cemetery next to the grave of his youngest son Private George Francis Phillips (who also has an entry within the “Others who fell” section of this Online War Memorial) who died at University War Hospital Southampton in 1918.

Major Phillips was the father of four sons, three of whom served in the War. In addition to Private George Francis Phillips, the family also lost their second son, 2nd Lieutenant John Harold Montague Phillips, in 1916. Their eldest son, Lieutenant AHR Phillips of the Army Service Corps, another son, Mr RA Phillips, and a daughter survived the war.

Clearly connected with the Phillips family of Culham , near Henley, Major Phillips erected a memorial plaque in the local church to the memory of his two sons. His wife, Charlotte Marie Phillips (nee Taylor) came from Bow. Major Phillips was a qualified engineer, an associate of the Institute of Civil Engineering. The family had moved form Hammersmith, where they were based in 1901, to Isleworth by 1911 and finally by 1916 to Broom Road, then within the postal district of Hampton Wick. The family must have been reasonably well off. Major Phillips had inherited the considerable sum of ten thousand pounds from an uncle in 1899.

According to his obituary in The Surrey Comet dated 4 October 1919, Major Phillips had enjoyed a long career of “meritorious service” and had commanded the Royal Engineers stationed at Gravesend. He had been one of the earliest members of the Electrical Engineering Corps of the Royal Engineers and had served with it throughout the Boer War. He had also been mentioned several times in despatches during the First World War.

He was buried with military honours. His coffin, covered with the Union Jack, was borne to Teddington Cemetery on a gun carriage, attended by outriders of the Royal Army Service Corps. An escort of 50 men of the East Surrey Regiment under 2nd Lieutenant Adcock was present and six NCOs acted as bearers. The service was conducted by the Vicar of Hampton Wick, AC Kestin, and the firing of three volleys preceded the Last Post which was sounded by East Surrey buglers.

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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