James George (George) PHILLIPS MSM


PHILLIPS, James George

Service Number: 438
Enlisted: 19 April 1916, Toowoomba, Queensland
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 5th Machine Gun Battalion
Born: Toowoomba, Queensland, 11 July 1893
Home Town: Toowoomba, Toowoomba, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Coach builder
Died: Died of Illness (influenza), Cambridge, England, United Kingdom, 1 November 1918, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Cambridge City Cemetery, United Kingdom
Row C, Grave No. 3478, Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Toowoomba Roll of Honour WW1, Toowoomba St Stephen's Church WWI Memorial Tablet, Toowoomba St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour, Toowoomba War Memorial (Mothers' Memorial)
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World War 1 Service

19 Apr 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 438, Toowoomba, Queensland
20 Oct 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 438, 3rd Machine Gun Company, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Oct 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 438, 3rd Machine Gun Company, HMAT Port Lincoln, Melbourne
13 Feb 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 5th Machine Gun Company
23 Feb 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 5th Machine Gun Company
10 Oct 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 5th Machine Gun Company
10 Jan 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 5th Machine Gun Company
10 May 1918: Transferred AIF WW1, Sergeant, 5th Machine Gun Company, Joined 2nd Officers Cadet Battalion, England
1 Nov 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 438, 5th Machine Gun Battalion

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Biography contributed by Paul Trevor



News has been received by Mr. and Mrs. James Phillips, of the Fire Brigade Station, Toowoomba, that their son, Lieut. George Phillips, M.S.M., had died of illness at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Lieut. Phillips went away as a private with the 25th Machine Gun Company, and made rapid strides, the rank of sergeant being given him in the course of a few months. Personally, the soldier preferred to gain his commission in the field, but a superior officer recommended him going to England to get the finishing touches. These orders were obeyed, and it was while at Emmanuel College that he was stricken down with a fatal illness. Only a week before the news came to hand of his death, Mrs. Phillips received the much prized ribbon of the Meritorious Service Medal. Prior to enlisting Lieut. Phillips was employed by his father at his coachbuilding works in Russell-street, Toowoomba.' from The Brisbane Courier 3 Dec 1918 (nla.gov.au)


In November last the death occurred in England of Sergt. J. G. Phillips from pneumonia following on influenza. Sergt. Phillips, who was a son of Mr. J. Phillips, superintendent of the Toowoomba Fire Brigade, had three years' service to his credit and prior to his death had just gained his commission after a successful term at Cambridge. For his work in the field in France he was awarded the meritorious service medal but the young soldier died before the honour was presented to him. The Mayor of Toowoomba (Aid. T. S. Burstow) has now received the medal for presentation to Sergt. Phillips' parents and it is likely that it will be handed over on the first occasion that a suitable public gathering is held.' from Darling Downs Gazette 1 Jul 1919 (nla.gov.au)