Thursday, 23 September 2021

Peter Phillips

PETER PHILLIPS was born to Tom and Joyce Phillips in Wrexham on March 18, 1938, just

PETER PHILLIPS was born to Tom and Joyce Phillips in Wrexham on March 18, 1938, just at the outbreak of the Second World War.

His father went off to fight and his mother returned to her mother’s home at Kington in Herefordshire, living there until peace was declared.

By then Peter was aged seven and, of course, did not recognise his father on his return from the front line.

Peter spent the rest of his childhood in Kington as his father resumed his banking career and attended the local grammar school.

An only child, he had many adventures with his cousins.

His parents were members of the local golf club, which has the highest 18 holes in England (a fact he was extremely proud of), so it was only natural that Peter took up the sport at an early age.

On leaving school, he started work with the General Electric Company in Stafford and then joined a firm of accountants in Hereford before National Service  intervened. A bad injury suffered while playing football in the army hospitalised him and by the time he was fit again his unit had been transferred overseas so, having worked for accountants, he was transferred to the Pay Corps and spent his two years in  Halifax.

He decided that on leaving the army he would follow in his father’s footsteps in banking and joined the Midland Bank in Hereford as a clerk.

His father had moved to Ledbury as manager of the Midland and it was here that Peter met Pam, introduced to her by her cousin at the Bosbury Show.

Peter had by this time become fully engrossed in the social scene of Young Farmers and Young Conservatives as well as playing rugby and cricket. In 1964 he was promoted to the Cardiff Docks branch and he and Pam got married.

They lived near Penarth and he played at Glamorgan Golf Club.

Peter was then assistant manager in Glastonbury, where their first child, Clare, was born in 1967 followed by their son Guy in 1969.

Golf was still an important part of Peter’s life and he became club champion at Mendip Golf Club.

As he moved within the bank, Bristol and Clifton and Lillybrook Golf Clubs benefited from his membership and he became club champion at the latter.

After a period as a tutor in the bank training college in Clifton, Peter spent time at the main branch in Cheltenham before being promoted to his first managerial post in Backwell, then Weston-Super-Mare before becoming manager of the branch in Melksham, Wiltshire.

The family moved with him, settling in the village of Holt in 1979.

Finally, they moved to Henley where Peter was branch manager of the Midland, which was taken over by HSBC in 1992.

On moving to the area, both Peter and Guy joined Henley Golf Club, Guy joining the junior section.

Peter became fully involved in the social life and playing side of the club and over the years won several trophies, including the Ladies’ Cup, Generation Cup with Guy, the Reed Cups with Pam, the Floate Cup, Charles Luker Putter, Cavill Trophy and many more.

He became a committee member, serving as chair of green and as captain in 1994. He was also a great supporter of junior golf at the club, donating the Peter Phillips Trophy to be played for each year.

After his captaincy, he became involved with the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire county juniors and under his management the boys won the South-East Championship in 1998 and 1999. Theey also won the English County Boys’ Championship in 1999 and were runners-up the previous year.

Peter was awarded an honorary life vice-presidency for his services to the county.

He retired in 1996 and he and Pam enjoyed walking holidays and playing mixed golf both at home and abroad as well as watching with delight their four grandchildren growing up.

In March 2013, Peter was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and throughout the illness he remained strong and positive, fighting the vicious disease with fortitude and amazing good humour.

Each week he turned up at the golf course to meet his chums with whom he had played golf and many of them will recall some of the pithy comments he made during this time.

He and Pam became great supporters of the local Motor Neurone Disease Association, raising money on walks and supporting others who also raised money for the charity.

Sadly, Peter passed away on May 6. He is survived by his wife Pam, his children Clare and Guy and grandchildren Jasmine, Hari, Toby and Sam.

The family would like to say a special thank-you to the Sue Ryder hospice, the doctors and nurses at the health centre, the carers, the MND clinic at the John Radcliffe Hospital, all the other professional NHS agencies and the volunteers of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, both the Reading and West Berks and Oxfordshire branches, for their help and support.

No more fitting tribute can be given to a man than the quote from Shakespeare given by his granddaughter at Peter’s funeral on May 20: “Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies a lad unparallel’d.”

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