NSW: Monday – The Boy Who Loved Dad’s Wartime Sketches

28 January 2019

Jack Phillips grew up in wartime. His Dad sent sketches from the battlefield, back home to his young son. There’s a ‘tank’ emblazoned with his name, ‘JACK’. The young boy was encouraged to read books about battles.

They were a happy family unit, Jack and his Mum and Dad. Jack loved equipment and putting things together, and taking them apart. In time, Jack joined the Royal Navy, where he got to work as a fitter on land, and quite possibly, at sea. He loved the sea and there was no more fantastic place to be than the Grand Harbour at Malta. The natural harbour is a crossing point for boats from throughout the Mediterranean and at various times has buzzed with navy and civilian ships.

Jack Phillips with his parents during wartime
Jack with his Parents

In his fifties, this was the place which Jack made his home. He was part of a large network of service personnel, who kept in touch with each other. We don’t know much about his private life. He didn’t tell his family a huge amount. Cousins remember him as a young boy, and then hearing of his time in the services from their parents, who in turn had been kept informed by Jack’s Mum.

We were notified that Jack passed away, a year ago, in London. Piecing together the jigsaw, he had picked out London as the place to live when returning from Malta. He found a secluded low-rise flat by a small and pleasant brook near the City, and near his favoured Docklands.

He was a private man, and did not confide in many. Now we have identified and found his cousins, he is part of a jolly, big, family, who were all curious to know more about the ‘Cousin who left Yorkshire’, Jack Phillips. We will be sharing the photographs we have with them, as his impressive achievements are part of the family story, and a privilege for us to know.

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