Menu ☰
Liverpool Pals header
Search Pals

Search
Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916


CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916


Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916


Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916


Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Rifleman 26156 Leo Phillips

  • Age: 20
  • From: Liverpool
  • Regiment: 6th Kings
  • Commemorated at: Tyne Cot Memorial
    Panel Ref: P31-34 162 162A 163A
Leo Ignatius Phillips was born in Liverpool in the June quarter of 1897, the son of William Henry Phillips and his wife Catherine (née McDonough). William, from Liverpool, and Catherine, from Greenock, Renfrewshire, married in Liverpool in 1889.  His father was a widower with three children.  They had ten children together, two of whom died young; Leo had older siblings John, Mary, Anne, Joseph, Elizabeth, and Maud, and a younger brother Francis. The family was Roman Catholic, but Leo’s baptism has not been found.
 
Before Leo’s birth, in 1891, his parents lived at 33 Islington, Liverpool. His father was a licensed victualler, publican. The family is not found on the 1901 census.  According to a Wellington newspaper article, his father emigrated to New Zealand in 1899, and entered the building trade.
 
However, in 1911 the family, without the father, is living at 11 Calder Street, Everton. His mother Catherine, married, is head of household, Anne, 20, is a sewing machinist, Joseph is 19, a packer, Elizabeth, 18, is a shop assistant in a draper’s, Maud, 15, has no occupation, Leo, 14, and Francis, 12, are at school. It is not known when the rest of the family sailed to New Zealand.
 
As Leo’s service record has not survived, the full details are not known, but he would have been 17 years old when war was declared.  He must have lied about his age in order to serve overseas.  He enlisted in Liverpool as Private 26156, 17th (Pals) Bn, King’s (Liverpool) Regiment. He would have trained locally, then at Belton Park Camp in Lincolnshire, and finally at Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain for final infantry training before being sent to the front. Leo shipped to France with his battalion, disembarking at Boulogne on 7th November 1915. At some point he was transferred to the 18th Bn K.L.R. and later to 1/6th Bn. 

In 1917 the 1/6th Bn were in the Ypres Salient.  The Battalion War Diary records –

On 16th September 1917 the battalion moves to Vlamertinghe.  On the 18th the battalion moves up by night and assembles in the old British front line. On the 19th the battalion form up in battle position in rear of 9th KLR between BANK FARM and POMERN CASTLE … Much difficulty forming up owing to rain and darkness of the night.  

20th September – 165 Brigade attack Green line … with 9th KLR and 7th KLR to take first objective, and 6th KLR and 5th KLR to take GREEN LINE.  Zero hour 5.40 a.m.  The 9th and 6th KLR become heavily involved in the fight for HILL 35 which was finally captured after a stiff fight, the 6th consolidating strong points on HILL 35 including LENS.  …  The 1/5 Loyal North Lancs and the 1/5 South Lancs having come up to reinforce, HILL 37 was captured by them and the survivors of this Bn.   Towards dusk a strong enemy counter attack on HILL 37 was beaten off with heavy casualties to the enemy.  The battle continues on 21st and 22nd September, several strong enemy counter attacks beaten off.

Total Casualties – 

4 Officers and 25 O.R. Killed, 

1 Officer and 43 O.R. Missing, 

7 Officers and 149 O.R. Wounded.

Private Leo Phillips was one of those killed in action on 20th September 1917.  His body was never recovered from the battlefield, or was subsequently lost.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, Ypres.  He was 20 years old.

Leo earned his three medals.  His father received his effects, including a War Gratuity of £10-10s.

In 1928 mother with sisters Anne and Maud and brother Charles are living in Beerehaven Road, Wellington.  His parents remained in New Zealand;  his father died in 1926 aged 76, and his mother in 1936  aged 77.
 
Leo is commemorated on the following memorials-

The Catholic Institute now housed at St Edward's College, West Derby, Liverpool

Liverpool University



























 

Killed On This Day.

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 37895 John Bibby

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 36883 William Joseph Cowin
19 years old

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 38487 Edward Crebbin

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 22989 Alec William Elcock
25 years old

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 16238 Samuel Hamilton
26 years old

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 22820 Samuel Richardson
19 years old

(104 Years this day)
Sunday 22nd October 1916.
Pte 26885 James Alfred Cannon Shimmin
19 years old

(103 Years this day)
Monday 22nd October 1917.
Pte 59767 Alexander Aitken
22 years old

(103 Years this day)
Monday 22nd October 1917.
Captain George Edward Simpson

(102 Years this day)
Tuesday 22nd October 1918.
Pte 406080 Walter Jackson
19 years old