Ystalyfera Fallen

War Graves & Remembrance Graves

James Phillips

This is the memorial page for James Phillips, native of Ystalyfera, killed during the Second World War.

The information on James Phillips comes principally from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, from the Labour Voice newspaper, and the Parish Burial Register (courtesy of the Swansea Archives).

NameJames Phillips
Date of Death21st September 1944
Place of DeathAboard the Japanese transport ship Hofuku Maru - Sunk by planes from American Aircraft Carrier, 80 miles north of Corregidor, whilst being evacuated as a PoW from Thailand
Age at Death34
Unit and RegimentCambridgeshire Regiment; 2nd Bn.
Service Number6028707
MemorialSingapore Memorial, Singapore; Column 60.
Remembrance GraveSt. David's Burial Ground - Alltygrug Ystalyfera
Plot H.329 :-
Grave inscription: Our Dear Brother James who died in the Far East Sept 23rd 1943
Local MemorialsYstalyfera War Memorial
Family DetailsSon of Phillip W. (1871-1954) and Margaret Phillips (born 1875, died 25th April 1935) of 39, Varteg Road, Ystalyfera, Glamorgan
Known BrothersWatcyn Phillip PHILLIPS Baptised in Holy Trinity 28/03/1902
Johnnie PHILLIPS (Born Ystalyfera 1904-1973)* Married Maggie Ceridwen PHILLIPS*
Bertie PHILLIPS (Born Ystalyfera 1906)
Tommy PHILLIPS (Born Ystalyfera 1907)
Known SistersHannah A PHILLIPS (Born Ystalyfera 1899)
Elizabeth (Bessie) PHILLIPS (Born Ystalyfera 1900) Baptised in Holy Trinity 16/05/1901
Margaretta PHILLIPS (Born Ystalyfera 1901) Baptised in Holy Trinity 16/05/1901
Harriet PHILLIPS (Born Ystalyfera 1909)

The newspaper articles below are in chronological order, charting first a visit home on leave, then the welcome news that he was a PoW after being missing, then the likelihood he had been killed, and then the news that this was definitely the case. The final article is the death of his father, at the age of 83, James having been his youngest child.

From the South Wales Voice newspaper, 1st February 1941 :-

Private Jim Phillips, son of Mr. Phil Phillips, Varteg Road was home on leave this week.

From the South Wales Voice newspaper, 8th May 1943 :-

After a silence of 18 months, Mr. Phillip Phillips of 39, Varteg Road, this week received the good news that his son. Private Jim Phillips is alive but a prisoner of war in Japanese hands since the fall of Malaya. This is the second local boy of whom news has been received of his safety in this far off theatre of war after hope had almost been abandoned and we are sure that all will join us in offering the family our sincere congratulations. Jim is one of three brothers serving and we take this opportunity of wishing them all good health and good luck.

From the South Wales Voice newspaper, 15th September 1945 :-

Sympathy will be felt for Mr. Phillip Phillips 39, Heol Varteg and family, who have received official intimation that his son, Private James Phillips, who was made prisoner of war by the Japanese when Singapore fell, in 1942, is now reported as “missing at sea” since late in 1944 when being evacuated from Thailand to Japan.

From the South Wales Voice newspaper, 1sr December 1945 :-

Confirmation of the worst fears, were received by Mr. Phillip Phillips, 39, Heol Varteg, on Wednesday by the arrival of official intimation of the death of his son, Pte. James Phillips. The latter went overseas at the end of 1941 and was taken prisoner by the Japanese when Singapore fell in February 1942. Whilst being transferred from Thailand to Japan during the end of 1943, the ship on which he was travelling was attacked and sunk by American aircraft and all onboard perished.

From the South Wales Voice newspaper, 5th February 1954 :-

The death took place at his home last Friday January 29th, of Mr Philip Phillips 39 Heol y Farteg Ystalyfera at the age of 83.
Mr Phillips had been bedridden for several months and completely blind for many years. A miner at Tirbach Colliery, he gave up underground work in 1924 to work on the surface on account of nystagmus. He was a homely quiet man, very cheerful despite his ailments. He did not have an enemy.
His wife predeceased him 19 years ago, and he leaves five sons and five daughters. One son Jim, taken prisoner by the Japs (Japanese) in Singapore, died in captivity.
Mr Phillips was buried at St David's Cemetery Alltygrug on Tuesday.

Remembrance Grave in Alltygrug Cemetery

Ystalyfera - South Wales

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