Edgar Thomas PHILIP


PHILIP, Edgar Thomas

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: Royal Flying Corps
Born: Dartmoor, 11 August 1894
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: The Geelong College
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Killed in action, Passchendaele, Belgium, 18 June 1917, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Strand Military Cemetery, Ploegsteert, Wallonie, Belgium
Memorials: Geelong College WW1 Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

18 Jun 1917: Wounded Lieutenant, SN Officer, Royal Flying Corps, Killed in action, shot down over Passchendaele, Belgium

Departed for England in August 1915 and enlisted in Royal Field Artillery before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps in November 1916.

Help us honour Edgar Thomas Philip's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Daryl Jones

PHILIP, Edgar Thomas (1894-1917)

Edgar Thomas Philip was born at Dartmoor on 11 August 1894, the son of John Philip and Katherine nee Swan, of Englefield, Balmoral. He was educated at Geelong College, where for two years he was in the 1st Cricket XI.

He worked at Englefield until his departure for England in August 1915, to enlist in the Royal Field Artillery (RFA). He received his commission as a Lieutenant in the RFA while stationed at Glasgow, and was Mentioned in Despatches while serving in France.

In November 1916 he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) as an Observer, and his first flight occurred on 21 March 1917. His Flying Log Book listed destinations including Roisel, Hargicourt, St Quentin, Bellicourt, Morlancourt and Ypres.

On his sixtieth flight, three months later, he was shot down over Passchendaele and the aircraft crashed behind enemy lines on 18 June 1917. Although every effort was made to find out where he and his fellow officer, Lt Bean, were buried, no information could be found.

In 1930, the Belgian authorities were relocating some German graves in the Nachtegall German Military Cemetery, when they discovered the unmarked graves of Lieutenants Philip and Bean. Edgar Philip was identified by his etched initials on the inside cover of his silver wristlet watch. This watch was sent to Belgian headquarters, then on to London, where its origin was confirmed, and finally it was returned to his family. At the present time, in 2006, it is held by his nephew, Doug Hope-Johnstone who, while a schoolboy at Geelong College, wrote an article in Pegasus concerning the discovery and re-interment of the bodies.

Lieutenants Philip and Bean were eventually buried in the Strand Military Cemetery, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium - Grave VII.A.41 and 42.

One of his brothers, William Swan Philip (1883-1963) was also educated at Geelong College.

His cousin, Sgt Ronald Swan Edgar (Old Geelong Collegian), 10 Light Horse Regiment, was killed at the Second Gaza Engagement on 19 April 1917. He was buried the next day at Tel-el-Jemmi Cemetery, Grave 10. On 16 April 1919 he was re-interred at Gaza War Cemetery, Egypt - Grave XX.D.14.

Source : The Geelong College - http://gnet.geelongcollege.vic.edu.au:8080/wiki/PHILIP-Edgar-Thomas-1894-1917.ashx