Edgar Samuel Phillips was born circa 1888 in West Bergholt, Essex, the son of Arthur John Phillips and Louisa Allen, who had married in the District of Lexden, in the county of Essex in the September quarter of 1882.
The 1891 census shows the young family living at Firmans, West Bergholt, Essex, with Arthur John, 34 and a Butcher*, he had been born in Hadleigh, Suffolk. His wife Luoisa, 31 had been born in Gt. Horkersley, Essex. Their eldest child was daughter Catherine J., 7, their 3 sons were : – Arthur N., 5, Edgar, 3 and Albert, 8 months, they had all been born in West Bergholt, Essex. There was a boarder, William J. List, 31 and a Butcher also a Domestic servant Ada Hidley, age 14.
*Interestingly, Arthur John had been an Elementary School Master, age 24, born Hadleigh, Suffolk on the 1881 census living with a Samuel & Elizabeth Kirby in West Bergholt, which was in the Registration district of Lexden.
By the 1901 census the family had their own business as Arthur John Phillips,44, was now an employer in his Butcher’s shop in West Bergholt, Essex. His wife was now 41. Their children were now Catherin, J., 17, Edgar, 13, Albert, 10, Laundre (sic) (Their next door neighbour was a Laundress (Wash)), Mary, 8, Mabel, 6 and Charles, 3. Arthur was also a Brick Manager, although the writing was very bad and I couldn’t make out the words properly, this is my best guess.
His family, on the 1911 census were living at Jays Lane, Marks Tey, Essex, Edgar’s father Arthur John, 54, was still a Butcher and employer, Louisa, 51 tells us that they had been married for 29 years, 10 children had been born and sadly one had died. Daughter Mabel was 16 and a Dressmaker, son Percy was 9, with Elsie 6.
The 1911 census shows a great change to Edgar’s life, he was now a Draper’s Assistant in Vauxhall, London, living as a Boarder at the shop of Lydia Annie Barnard, at 72, Harleyford Road, Vauxhall where Edgar, 27, was single and a Linen Draper’s Assistant. There was another Boarder, Mary Clacken, 21, single and his occupation was Perfumery, presumably at Widow Barnard’s shop. There was another employer on another census attached to this address, so it may have been quite a big shop.
About this time he must have met his future wife Margaret Emma Dallard, as she too was a Draper’s Assistant in a large establishment, sadly the name of which is rather badly written on the census, something like Milere? Roland (Shop), 82 – 90, St. John’s Road, Clapham Junction, London (Mr. Bartholemew, Manager, living at No 80.), Margaret Emma Dallard, 26, Assistant Single Draper’s Assistant, born Walsall, Staffs.
The two shops, I believe, were not in the same area, but perhaps that is how they met, through mutual employment and interests. I will try to find out more about the shops, if I can.
In any case they must have moved to Deeside, after the 1911 as on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, on Edgar’s certificate, Margaret was listed as his wife/widow living at 44, Chester Road, Shotton, Flintshire. This is how I found Edgar, looking in the CWGC database inputting just the words Shotton, Flintshire in the “Additional Information” at the bottom of the search page. It should then bring up men who have those words on the records.
There is no Flintshire WW1 Index Card, neither “Fallen” nor “Living” for Edgar that I can see.
Edgar Samuel Phillips in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 tells us that his residence was in Clapham, Surrey and he enlisted in Kingston, Surrey, so he may have journeyed down there to join up if he wanted to get into a Surrey Regiment.
Edgar Samuel Phillips in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us the sole Legatee was his widow Margaret who was paid £2. 3s 8d on the 21st November 1917 and his War Gratuity of £3 on the 29th October 1919.
Edgar S Phillips in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 does not tell us where he his first Theatre of War was, nor when he entered it. Although there was a few numbers hand written on :- 14/10/14 (or 74) written horizontally, so was this the date he enlisted? 14th October 1914, or did it mean something else? Any help would be appreciated to solve the mystery of when he came to Deeside.