Thomas Alfred Phillips was Welsh-born and came to live in Chelmsford when still a boy. During the war he served in the army and died in north Africa in April 1941. His parents lived in Springfield Park Avenue.
Thomas was born in Glamorganshire on 25th August 1920, the son of Lewis Ungoed Phillips (1894-1955) and Elizabeth 'Elsie' Phillips (nee Collins). His parents had married at St. Andrews Church, Llwynypia, Rhondda, Glamorganshire on 31st August 1919. Thomas had a younger brother, David Lewis Phillips (1922-2002).
Thomas's family is one of a number of Welsh families that moved to Chelmsford in the late 1920s and early 1930s, attracted by the better employment prospects in the town offered by the two electrical engineering firms Marconi’s, and Crompton Parkinson, and the ball-bearings manufacturer Hoffmann’s. When Thomas’ father died in 1955 his obituary reported that he had worked for Marconi’s for 26 years, latterly as an instrument maker, suggesting an arrival in Chelmsford in 1929.
During the Second World War Thomas served as Guardsman 2658548 in the 3rd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards. He died, aged 20, on 16th April 1941.
At the time of his death Thomas' parents were living at 35 Springfield Park Avenue in Springfield. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial in Eqypt. The memorial commemorate more than 8,500 soldiers of the Commonwealth who died in the campaigns in Egypt and Libya, and in the operations of the Eighth Army in Tunisia up to 19 February 1943, who have no known grave. It also commemorates those who served and died in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Persia.
Thomas Alfred PHILLIPS, Guardsman, 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards
Killed in the Middle East. Aged 20