Person    | Male  Born 1886  Died 6/12/1944

H. F. Phillips

War dead non-military, WW2 i

Commemorated on a memorial as being a civilian who was killed in WW2. Includes mercantile marines and emergency services personnel.

H. F. Phillips

Andrew Behan has kindly carried out some research on this man:
Harry Freeman Phillips was born in 1886 in Shoreditch. He joined the army on 29 June 1904 at Warley, Essex, and was posted to the 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment, service number 7985, on 18 November 1904. He gave his occupation as a greengrocer. On 23 March 1906 he extended his service for a further 8 years and his pay was 4d a day. He served in Malta and was transferred to the 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment on 27 December 1906. In 1909 he contracted malaria spending 23 days in hospital in Quetta, India, (now in Pakistan). On 19 April 1912 he left the army and was placed on the reserved list.

He married Florence Maud Stewart on 15 March 1913 at St Michael and All Angels Church, Southfields, Wandsworth, and his occupation was shown as a despatch packer. They lived at 106 Merton Road, Wandsworth and their daughter, Florence Kathleen Freeman Phillips was born 18 February 1914.

On the outbreak of World War I, he was mobilized on 5 August 1914 and posted to the 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment which joined the British Expeditionary Force in France on 22 August 1914. He received a gunshot wound to his left ankle on 14 September 1914. He was unable to rejoin his battalion until 1 June 1915 and was promoted to Lance Corporal on 10 July 1915. He was transferred to the 3rd Battalion, Essex Regiment on 8 January 1916. In April 1916 he was sentenced by a District Court-Martial to six months imprisonment with hard labour for the offence of ‘when on active service using threatening language to a superior officer’. This was later commuted to 84 days detention. He was also sentenced to 14 days confined to barracks on 23 March 1917 for illegally wearing decorations. On 11 April 1917 he was transferred to the 5th Battalion, The (Duke of Edinburghs) Wiltshire Regiment, with a service number of 33997. He was discharged from the army on 15 February 1919 having served in Mestoptamia. After the war he was awarded the 1914 Star, the British War Medal 1914-1918 and the Victory Medal and continued to live at 106 Merton Road, SW18, but by 1919 his wife had died. Electoral registers from 1921 to 1925 show him living at 215 Queens Road, Battersea.

In April 1927 he was appointed as a porter with the London Postal Service, Paddington. The 1931 and 1932 registers show him living at 12 Barchard Street, SW18 with a Sarah Eden. The register for 1936 shows him now at 16 Battersea Bridge Buildings, SW11 with a Sarah Phillips and the 1939 register shows them at 2 Apsley Road, SW18. At 11.00pm on 6 December 1944 a V2 rocket hit the Red Lion PH on the corner of Duke Street and Barratt Street, W1. A canteen in the basement area situated in the Selfridges Annexe Building was massively damaged, with 8 American servicemen killed and 32 injured. Also 10 British civilians, some in passing vehicles, were killed and 7 injured. Probate records state ‘Harry Freeman Phillips of 493a Battersea Park Road, SW11 who is believed to have been killed through war operations on 6 December 1944 at Selfridges, Duke Street, W1 and whose dead body was found on 9 December 1944. Probate to Sarah Eden (wife of Leo Joseph Eden) on 26 February 1945. Effects £533-19s-6d’.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists him as ‘Civilian War Dead, aged 58, died 6 December 1944. Husband of Sarah Phillips of 493a Battersea Park Road, Battersea. Died at Duke Street’. He is buried at East Finchley Cemetery & Crematorium, 122 East End Road, East Finchley.

So, having survived WW1 as a soldier he was killed as a civian in WW2.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
H. F. Phillips

Commemorated ati

Western Postal District war memorial - Rathbone Place

The plaque does not point out that not all of the WW2 names were in the armed...

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