A Poppy
A Poppy

Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Biography -
- William Arthur Phillips -

Unknown person Name : William Arthur Phillips.

Son of the late Albert Phillips and Charlotte Macklin Phillips (née Macklin) of Ventnor.

Born 1891 Portsmouth, Hampshire; (registered Sep 1891 qtr, Portsea).

Married [1] 16 Sep 1916, Ruth Marjorie Gilbert, at Wesleyan Methodist Church, High Street, Ventnor.

Children : Albert John (born 1917); Peggy Ethel (born 1920); Marjorie Charlotte (born 1923); William Gilbert (born 1926); Elizabeth Ann (born 1930); Ruth Pamela (born 1931).

Ruth Marjorie Gilbert died in 1936.

Married [2] 20 June 1938, Ethel Blanche Gilbert, at United Church, Ventnor.

  Census Information :

1901 : Albert and Charlotte Phillips, with their son William, aged 9, are at 119 Somers Road, Portsmouth. Albert Phillips is a Brewer.

1911 : Albert and Charlotte Phillips, with their son William, aged 19, are at Fairlawn, High Street, Ventnor. Albert Phillips is a Brewer; William Phillips is working in the Brewery.

  Service details :

William Arthur Phillips, Home Guard.

  Casualty Details :

Died : 17 January 1943, aged 52. Died at Fairlawn, High Street, Ventnor.

CWGC record ...
  Commemorated on these Memorials :

Ventnor War Memorial

  Documents :


Friday, September 22, 1916 Page 5

PHILLIPS-GILBERT. - Sep. 16, at the Wesleyan Church, by the Rev. A.T. Triggs, A.W. Phillips, second son of the late Mr. A. Phillips and of Mrs. Phillips, Fairlawn, Ventnor, to Ruth Marjorie, youngest daughter of the late Mr. G. Gilbert and of Mrs. Gilbert, Albert Street, Ventnor.


Friday, April 6, 1917 Page 5

Ventnor Tribunal.
... Mr. A.W. Drew, solicitor, appeared for Mr. W. A. Phillips, brewer, of the Ventnor Brewery, and said there were other circumstances associated with the case since Mr. Phillips was last before them. He had taken on the management of the Commercial Hotel since the manager was called up. Mr. Phillips entirely ran the whole brewing business with one man to help him, besides which he had to overlook the management of the Commercial Hotel, the Terminus Hotel, the other Licenced houses belonging to the brewery in Ventnor and houses at Wroxall and Lake. The business could not be carried on without Mr. Phillips.
In reply to Mr. Sheppard, applicant said there were about ten people employed in the various houses.
Dr. Robertson: The question has been put to you before. Is it possible to get anyone to do the work?
Mr. Phillips replied it was not. It would be difficult for a stranger to manage the plant. He was allowed to brew only a certain amount and would be fined £2 per barrel and £200 in addition if he over-stepped the mark. He had brewed within nine gallons of the statutory amount allowed to him, and it would not be possible for a stranger, with no knowledge of the plant, to do that.
Mr. Wetherick: You also act as boots, do you not? (laughter)
Mr. Phillips: Yes. He had one man left of military age, but he had been rejected for health reasons.
Colonel Guild said that in regard to men who had been rejected a decision of far-reaching importance had been come to by the Divisional Court, presided over by the Lord Chief Justice. Briefly the decision meant that a man who had been attested under the Derby Scheme, though medically rejected, is liable to Army service until formally discharged.
Mr. Wetherick moved that six months' exemption be granted to Mr. Phillips with leave to appeal again.
(not all the report has been transcribed)


Friday, October 5, 1917 Page 1

The following cases - revisions of existing exemptions in the first five instances - come before the local tribunal to-night (Friday): R.E. Weighell, W.A. Phillips, C.H. Dodds, L.W. Hess, G. Farrow and G.E. Board.


Friday, October 12, 1917 Page 3

Ventnor Tribunal.
A meeting took place last Friday evening, Mr. F. Baker, C.A., presiding.
... Mr. W.A. Phillips, brewer, &c., Ventnor, asked for further exemption. He has been eleven years in business, and appealed in the National interest and on the ground of serious hardship. He owned and managed the Ventnor Brewery with houses connected with it, doing the whole of the brewing and clerical work. If he was taken, four hotels in Ventnor, and others outside, would have to be closed, which would mean ruin for applicant and the licensees of the houses. The firm paid a large sum of money to the Government in excise duty.
Mr. Draper said the licensees of the houses would not have much trouble to find a job.
In reply to the Chairman, applicant said the circumstances of the case were the same as on previous occasions he had been before the tribunal.
Colonel Guild: Would it not be possible to get a manager? - No, not very well. Applicant went on to say he was doing labouring work, washing casks and bottles. He had tried to find a substitute.
Colonel Guild said that Class A men were badly wanted and especially men of 26.
Mr. Phillips said he could not get anyone to carry on the business. He had tried without success before.
Colonel Guild: In the case of a large concern like this with plenty of capital it is not so much a question of money.
After further discussion, Mr. Sheppard proposed that six months further exemption be granted.
Mr. Wetherick said he had intended to propose conditional exemption in this case. They had taken applicant's foreman and he was doing his work as well. He would, however, second the proposition.
Exemption till April 1st was granted.
(not all the report has been transcribed)


Friday, April 12, 1918 Page 1

The following come before the tribunal next Monday: G. Ballantyne, coal manager; A.F. Bartlett, jeweller; C.H. Dodds, auctioneer; G.S. Hibberd, mineral water manufacturer; W.A. Phillips, brewer; E.A. Vincent, builder; J.J. Guy, pork butcher; F.E. Shipp, grocer's manager; R.E. Spearing, grocer; R.W.A. Deighton, bootmaker; F.J. Taylor, joiner; and E.W. Smith, grocer's manager.


Friday, April 19, 1918 Page 3

Ventnor Tribunal.

Mr. W.A. Phillips, brewer, aged 26, said in his claim that he superintends the whole of his business and did the brewing. If he had to go two or three local hotels would close which would involve him in financial ruin and throw fourteen people out of employment. Considering the amount he paid to the revenue, he contended that the closing of the brewery would mean a loss to the Government altogether disproportionate to applicant's value to the Army.
Mr. Wetherick: If you are taken will you close down? - I shall have to close the Commercial Hotel, the Terminus, and the Brewery. - And when you are asked to put money in the War Loan you will not be able to do so? - No. - Neither will the Government get the large amount of money you are paying the Revenue? - No.
Applicant went on to say that when his father was alive he tried to prevail on him to allow him (applicant) to join up, but his father said in that event the business must close, as he was unable to superintend it.
Mr. Wetherick said this was a business which was carried on for the benefit of the Government as well as for the town of Ventnor. Something like £1,200 a year would be lost to the revenue of the country if this business closed. They were told that money as well as men were required to win the war. Mr. Lloyd George told them at the outset that the silver bullets would count. He moved that exemption be given to June 15th, with the right to appeal again.
Mr. Sheppard seconded and it was carried.
(not all the report has been transcribed)


Friday, May 3, 1918 Page 3

Ventnor Cases at the Appeal Tribunal.
The appeal of the Tribunal Service Representative against the decision of the Ventnor Tribunal in granting exemption to Messrs. G.S. Hibberd, A. Phillips, A.F. Bartlett, and L. Hess were heard to-day (Friday) before the Court sitting at Ryde, under the presidency of Sir Godfrey Baring, Bart., M.P. The cases of Hibberd and Phillips were adjourned pending another medical examination.


Friday, May 24, 1918 Page 3

Ventnor Cases at the Appeal Tribunal.
The appeal in the case of William A. Phillips, Commercial Hotel, Ventnor, was withdrawn, as he had been graded 3 ...
(not all the report has been transcribed)


Friday, June 14, 1918

Ventnor Tribunal.
... The following applicants, all being grade 3, were granted exemption till December 1st, on the motion of Dr. Robertson: Messrs. A.F. Bartlett, watchmaker, R.E. Weighell, stationer, E.W. Smith, grocer's manager, W.A. Phillips, brewer, &c., C.H. Dodds, auctioneer, &c., G. Ballantyne, coal merchant's manager, and F.E. Shipp, grocer's assistant ...
(not all the report has been transcribed)


Friday, November 8, 1918 Page 3

Ventnor Tribunal.
... The Clerk (Mr. H. Hughes Oakes) read a letter from the National Service Representative (Colonel Guild) regretting his inability to attend. He enclosed a list of ten further applications, in every one of which he was prepared to grant six months' further exemption. If the tribunal were of the same opinion it would perhaps be considered unnecessary to put the applicants to the trouble of appearing.
This was confirmed on the motion of Mr. Burroughs, seconded by Mr. Lake.
The cases referred to were as follows: Messrs. R.W. Deighton, R.E. Spearing, S. Du Feu, W. J. Nigh, G.S. Hibberd, R.E. Weighell, C.F. Dodds, A.F. Bartlett, A. Phillips and E.W. Smith.


Friday, February 3, 1939 Page 2

CAR IN A DITCH. - Mr. Jack Phillips of "Fairlawn," High Street, Ventnor, had an unenviable experience whilst driving his car from Rookley towards Godshill at midnight on Thursday week. In trying to avoid a rabbit which darted across the road in front of the car, Mr. Phillips swerved towards the offside and in doing so struck a large stone at the side of the road. The effect was that the car swerved into a ditch and was rather extensively damaged. Mr. Phillips was severely bruised about the shoulders and sustained minor cuts on the face.


Friday, September 15, 1939 Page 3

Marriage of Mr. A.J. Phillips
And Miss Mary Moreton
A marriage of much local interest took place at the Newport Register Office on Saturday.
The bridegroom was Mr. Albert John ("Jack") Phillips, eldest son of Mr. W. Arthur Phillips, of Fairlawn, Ventnor, and his bride was Miss Mary Moreton [1], only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Moreton, of Tylney Cottage, Ocean View Road, Ventnor.
Also present at the ceremony were Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Phillips and Miss Peggy Phillips, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Moreton.
Both bride and bridegroom are popular figures in Ventnor. Miss Moreton, it will be recalled, was one of the Maids of Honour at the Ventnor Carnival of 1938 when Miss Peggy Phillips was the Carnival Queen. The bridegroom, who in normal times is his father's "right-hand" in the management of the Ventnor Brewery, is a 2nd Lieutenant attached to the 190th Battery of Princess Beatrice's (I.W. Rifles) Heavy Brigade, R.A. (Territorials), and is at present engaged on active service.
Following the ceremony a reception was held at the Hotel Metropole, Ventnor, at which the health of the newly-married pair was heartily toasted by a large number of guests.
Owing to the exigencies of the times the honeymoon had to be postponed.
Our readers will join us in extending to Mr. and Mrs. Phillips hearty good wishes for their future happiness.


Friday, September 22, 1939 Page 2

CORRECTION. - Last week through a misapprehension, we stated in our report of Mr. A.J. Phillips' wedding that a large number of guests were present at the reception. As a matter of fact, owing to war conditions, only the immediate relations were able to be present. We much regret the error.

[1] Mary Moreton's birth was registered as Maria Carrera, Jun Qtr 1920, Lambeth (mother's maiden name Garda).


Friday, January 22, 1943 Page 3

Funerals of Island Air Raid Victims
The funeral of Mr. W.A. Phillips and his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Jack Phillips, who met their deaths by enemy action in a recent air attack on the Island, took place yesterday (Thursday) afternoon. The service was held in the Parish Church and was conducted by the Rector of a neighbouring village. There was a crowded congregation and the service throughout was most impressive. Freemasons of a Lodge of which the late Mr. Phillips was a member lined the approach to the church and members of the fraternity from other Lodges on the Island were also present. The personal mourners were : Lieut. A. J. Phillips, R.A. (son and husband of Mrs. Phillips), Miss Peggy Phillips (daughter), Mr. William Phillips (son), Miss Macklin (aunt), Mr. Basil Gilbert (brother-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. C.S. Moreton, of Southsea (parents of Mrs. Phillips), Mr. and Mrs. Stobbs, Mrs. Meikle (representing Dr. Meikle, Portsmouth), Capt. F.W. Boville, Mrs. D. G Russell and Miss de Boe. ` Two hymns "How bright these glorious spirits shine" and "Jesu, Lover of my soul," were sung, together with the Nunc Dimittis as the two flower covered coffins were borne from the church. The interment followed at a local cemetery, where the two bodies were deposited in graves side by side.
The large congregation comprised representatives of all classes of the private and business community in addition to a large number of representatives of business houses and properties in which the late Mr. Phillips was interested. Public representatives included the Chairman of the District Council, local County Councillors, two Police Inspectors and Sergeant, members of the W.V.S., B.R.C.S., N.F.S., etc. There was a wealth of floral tributes.

Mrs D G Russell, one of those attending the funeral, was the wife of Daniel George Russell, who is noted with his brother on the Russell brothers biography page.


Friday, January 29, 1943 Page 1

Our esteemed contributor Mr. B.W. Russell, has very ably expressed, in another column, an appreciation of the late Mr. W. Arthur Phillips, which will be read with sympathetic interest. With obvious sincerity, the writer sums up what all of us are feeling at this time. For ourselves, all that need be added is this - that to us, as it is indeed to countless others, Mr. Phillips' passing can only be regarded in a sense of great personal loss; whilst the loss to the town is immeasurable.
* *

To all those who mourn the loss of loved ones, the deepest sympathy has been directed, and this applies in special measure, of course, to Lieut. A.J. Phillips, Mr. Phillips' elder son, who is suffering a double bereavement - the loss of father and wife.

Page 1

Arthur Philips
Time, and the distressing circumstances, made one disinclined last week to write a little memoir of the life of Arthur Phillips.
His first Christian name was usually disregarded - he was "Arthur" to everybody. His friendly pat on the back - sometimes it was a hug - did not emerge from an emotional impulse. It was the outward gesture of a loving and understanding heart.
If one were to write only that Arthur Phillips - without any professions - was a high-minded Christian gentleman, it would more faithfully approximate to the truth than any flattering eulogy. No one possessed in his inmost soul more charity of thought. The charity of his actions was boundless - but he "did good by stealth and blushed to find it fame." He carried responsible business cares with a light and youthful buoyancy. He sometimes embarked on what his best friends considered to be hazardous enterprises, but he had vision, enterprise and an uncanny appreciation of estimating false and true. He was intuitively conscious of insincerity. It was a real pleasure to converse with Arthur Phillips, especially when he was busy at his job. He was always kindly and helpful, and those who knew him best will miss his genial presence, as those who knew him best value him most.
To Ventnor he was a true and loyal citizen. "Without progress," he once said to the writer, "the town will lose its position as a holiday resort." With this always in mind, he tried his utmost to resuscitate declining businesses, and was beginning to see some of the fruits of his enterprise when war broke out. Knowing what would certainly be the precarious position of the Island, without the help of visitors, it has been said that soon after war was declared he relieved the anxiety of his tenants by placing them on a managerial basis. This is but rumour, but it is typical of a generous and sympathetic heart. He succeeded his father at the Ventnor Brewery and greatly extended its scope. The business had hitherto been conducted on solid, but unimaginative lines. Arthur Phillips developed the bottling side with success, and his products went to all parts of the Island. He developed his properties on modern lines - there was not one he failed to improve - and the status of his managers was his first care. As years sped by he assumed important responsibilities, and he was probably the highest assessed ratepayer in this area.
The Yarborough Lodge of Freemasons, to which he had been generous, loses by his death a third old member within twelve months. Like his brief association with the Ventnor District Council, Mr. Phillips' leisure time did not permit him taking office, but he was a valued member of the General Purposes Committee, and was due for re-election at a meeting last week, when the Worshipful Master paid a tribute to his memory. He was tragically cut off in early middle life, when he had practically recovered from a long illness, which he had borne with fortitude.
He ever remained the staunchest of friends, and his high sense of integrity, his unswerving steadfastness and kindly nature endears him deeply and lastingly in our memories.
We bow our heads in sorrow and pray that his relatives will have the consolation that only the Great Architect can bestow.
B.W. Russell

Page 2

MRS. W.A. PHILLIPS AND FAMILY return grateful and sincere thanks for the kindness, sympathy and help given them in their recent bereavement.

Page 2

Floral tributes to Air Raid Victims
The following is a list of the floral tributes sent to the funerals of Mr. W.A. Phillips and his daughter-in-law, Mrs. A.J. Phillips, who lost their lives by enemy action in a recent raid:
(the list has not been transcribed)

Page 3

Some Topical reflections
By B.W.R.
The late Mr. Arthur Phillips was the first to be enrolled in the Home Guard at Ventnor and paid regular attention to the duties before his illness. Major W.R. Raeburn and Capt. J. Pitts represented the company at the funeral.
(not all the report has been transcribed)


Friday, February 5, 1943 Page 3

Some Topical Reflections by B.W.R.
To A.R., J.S. and E.A. - Your letters to hand. The profound sorrow you feel in the death of Arthur Phillips is shared fully by the inhabitants of Ventnor. A local lady writes: "Your tribute to Mr. Phillips touched me greatly. The words used were simple and sincere, and expressed the deep sorrow in my heart." E.P. also sends a kind letter of thanks.
(not all the report has been transcribed)


Friday, March 19, 1943 Page 3

Some Topical Reflections By B.W.R.
Mr. Herbert Denness, son of Mr. and Mrs. G.H. Denness, Pier Street, writes from the Middle East expressing the regret Ventnor men out there felt when they received news of the death of Mr. Arthur Phillips. A similar letter comes from a Ventnor man in Canada.


Friday, April 16, 1943 Page 2

Some Topical reflections By B.W.R.
Miss Hilda Gilbert writes a kind letter from Flushing, New York, expressing appreciation of the notices which have appeared here concerning her brother-in-law, the late Mr. Arthur Phillips. "I feel grateful," she says, "that someone put into words the grief we all feel. Your contributions to the Mercury are much enjoyed by all old Ventnorians. I grieve very much to hear of the terrible suffering my home town is undergoing at this time." Many local people have pleasant memories of the Gilbert family, who were in a prosperous way of business here for many years.
* *
Miss Gilbert's father was always esteemed for his high sense of duty and integrity, and the gracious dignity and deference of her mother will always be cherished in our memories. Her letter prompts one to say something about her father's public life and his devotion to the cause of Methodism. The Ingrams and Gilberts brought keen business ability and sound sense of values to our municipal life for many years, and everybody relied upon their judgment and sound common sense. It is residents of this calibre who bring honour to any town and one would wish that they were more numerous today.


Friday, August 20, 1943 Page 2

Miss Pamela Phillips
Air Raid Tragedy Recalled
It is with profound regret that we record the death of Miss Pamela Phillips, youngest daughter of the late W. Arthur Phillips, of Ventnor, which occurred at the Ratcliff Hospital, Oxford, on Wednesday, at the age of eleven years. Miss Phillips had been undergoing treatment at Midhurst since she sustained injuries in an air raid in January last, and a fortnight ago her condition necessitated her removal to Oxford, where an operation was performed. Her step-mother, Mrs. W.A. Phillips, accompanied her to Oxford and was there until the end.
Her death recalls the tragic end of her father and sister-in-law in the same raid, and will revive all those feelings of heartfelt sympathy with members of the family which were then expressed.


Friday, August 27, 1943 Page 2

PHILLIPS. - The widow and family of the late Mr. W.A. Phillips wish to return heartfelt thanks for the many expressions of sympathy they have received in the death of Pamela, and for the lovely floral tributes sent.

Page 3

The Late Miss Pamela Phillips
The funeral of Miss Pamela Ruth Phillips, aged eleven years, whose death at Oxford was recorded last week, took place at Ventnor Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon, the Rector of Bonchurch (Rev. H. Haworth Coryton) officiating. Youngest daughter of the late Mr. W. Arthur Phillips, Pamela was seriously injured in the air raid in which her father and sister-in-law lost their lives early in the year. She had undergone treatment at Midhurst for a long time, and a fortnight before her death had been removed to hospital at Oxford, where she underwent an operation. The principal mourners were Mrs. W.A. Phillips (step-mother), Lieut. A.J. Phillips, R.A., and Marine W. Phillips (brothers), the Misses Peggy, Marjorie and Elizabeth Phillips (sisters), A/C Basil Gilbert, R.A.F. (uncle), Mr. S. Russell and Miss Russell (cousins), Mrs. C.S. Moreton, Captn. F.W. and Mrs. Boville, Miss Ellis, Mrs. Raeburn and Mrs. C.E.J. Spencer.
Others present were Dr. C.P. Giles, Mr. G.S. Hibbid, Miss Underhill, Miss Thomas and Miss Bird (Linden College, Shanklin, at which Pamela had been a boarder pupil), Mr. G.K.Nash, Mr. S. Mursell (Millbay), Mr. Leonard Hess (Commercial Hotel), Mrs. Hamilton (Lowtherville off-licence), Mr. Vivian Yorke, Mrs. A. Russell, Mrs. C. Deighton, Mrs. Turner, Mrs. Colenutt, Miss Spencer, Mr. G.H. Lacey. The staff of Ventnor Brewery were represented by Messrs. S.J. Parsons, P.W. Humphries, J. Waller and A. Dennis. Miss Rodger (Commandant), Miss Gwladys Williams and Mrs. White represented the local B.R.C.S. Women's Detachment and Miss Adams the W.V.S.
Mr. Coryton gave a very touching address based on the words "And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof" (Zach. viii, 5), from which he adduced many comforting thoughts.
The body was laid to rest in the grave of her father and mother which had been adorned with beautiful flowers. Messrs. H. Ingram and Sons made the arrangements.
(the list of floral tributes has not been transcribed)


Friday, November 16, 1945 Page 2
ROURKE-PHILLIPS. - On November 10, at Winchester, Capt. J. Rourke, son of Mr. and Mrs. Rourke, of Paignton, Devon, to Sub. Peggy Phillips, A.T.S., eldest daughter of Mrs. Phillips, and the late Mr. W.A. Phillips, of Ventnor.
  Further information :

Also killed outright, or who died subsequently, in the air raid of 17 January 1943, at Fairlawn, were William Arthur Phillips' daughter, Pamela Ruth (aged 11), and his daughter-in-law, Maria Theresa Phillips, (aged 22), daughter of Charles and Rita Moreton, of 43 Castle Road, Southsea; wife of Albert John Phillips.

CWGC record ... for Pamela Ruth Phillips.

CWGC record ... for Maria Theresa Phillips.

Both are also commemorated at the

Ventnor War Memorial

William Arthur Phillips' brothers-in-law, Philip St John Gilbert and Dudley George Gilbert, were killed in World War I.

  Acknowledgments :

Janet Griffin for newspaper research.
  Page status :
Page last updated : 1 July 2015 (added further newspaper reports).


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