John Phillips was born in Flint in February, 1892 and was the third of seven children to John Phillips and Elizabeth (Parry).
John Sr was born in Cefn, Wrexham but it is not known where Elizabeth was born as the census returns differ. They were married in Chester in 1886 and set up home at 31, Chapel Street, Flint later moving to 65, Mumforth Street before settling in 3, Rose Terrace, Chapel Street. John Sr was a locomotive driver at the local Alkali Works and John Jr worked in the storeroom at the silk factory.
John enlisted in Flint in August, 1914 with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, No 2175, then transferred to the Machine Gun Corps.
The following is a letter he sent home dated 10th August, 1918.
Dear Mother & All
Just a short letter hoping it finds you & all at home well not hearing from you I thought it best to drop you a line to let you know im in the best of health and doing alright. I had a letter from Tully today telling me a bit of the news she enjoyed herself at home she seen a big difference with half of them been away I’m hoping everybody enjoyed there holiday and returned alright I expect il get all the news from Mary when shes in writing form glad you enjoyed your rest how is things at the works have they made a start again Trusting you get this and finds you and all in the best of health the same as it leaves me at present don’t know of any more this time hoping to hear from you soon with love to all.
Yours Aff son
That was to be his last letter for while serving in France he was wounded in action and died on 15th August, 1918 and was buried in Pernes British Cemetery, France (Plot IV, Row A, Grave 24).
He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal and is remembered on two war memorials – Flint Town and Seion Chapel, Hill Street, Flint. He is also remembered on his parent’s grave in the Northop Road Cemetery, Flint (Grave 3, Line 46, South Side).
He was unmarried but was engaged to Sally Humphreys of Field Cottage, Soughton. She married John Thomas Hughes in Northop Parish Church in 1922.
John Sr died suddenly as his place of work on 31st January, 1922 and the incident was reported in the one of the local newspapers followed by the inquest.
(County Herald 3rd February, 1922)
About ten o’clock on Tuesday morning, quite a sensation was caused in the town when it became known that John Phillips, aged 63, engine driver, residing at 3, Rose Cottages, Chapel Street, Flint, had dropped dead on the railway siding. Deceased had been attended by Dr Williams about a month ago, when he suffered from pains in the chest. At about 7-15 on Tuesday morning he left his home to go to work at the Castle Works, and was apparently in his normal health, but, as previously stated, he died suddenly.
On the afternoon of Thursday 2nd February the Deputy-Coroner for Flintshire, Mr Humphrey Llewellyn Jones, held an inquest in the Caersalem School concerning the death of Mr Phillips. Evidence of identification was given by his son, William Phillips, who stated that about 7-15 am his father left home to go to his work, when he appeared to be in his usual health, and made no complaint. He had not been attended by a doctor for some time, but about a month ago he was under treatment by Dr Williams for a cough. He had been suffering from a chest complaint for a number of years. Evidence was given that about 10 am deceased was engaged at Muspratt’s Siding, adjoining the London and North Western Railway, and was waiting to take some wagons to the Castle Works. Whilst waiting, he left the stoker in charge, and went to the railway embankment. The stoker John Robert Jones, 14, Salisbury Street, Flint, thought the deceased was away rather longer than he ought to be for his purpose, and went to look for Phillips, and found him lying on his back at the bottom of the embankment, apparently dead. Fireman Nuttall came, and Jones went to the Castle Works to report the matter and a doctor was sent for. Dr Twemlow came shortly afterwards and he found that life was extinct. A verdict of “Death from heart failure” was returned. Mr Clement Jones, solicitor, Holywell, who represented Messrs Courtaulds, on behalf of the firm expressed sympathy with deceased’s family, and the Coroner associated himself with the expression. Deceased leaves a widow, who is an invalid, and a grown-up family. He was a member of the Caersalem C M Church, and was held in high esteem in the town. The interment took place at Flint Cemetery on Saturday afternoon, and was attended by a large number of the employees of Messrs Courtaulds. The service was conducted by the Rev J D Williams, minister of the Welsh Congregational Church.
Just over a month later Elizabeth also died suddenly, aged 64, at her residence, 3, Rose Terrace, and was buried with her husband.