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  • 180165 Private P. WOOLFITT
43RD BN Canadian Inf. Manitoba Regt
1st November 1916 Age 19.
Person Details
21 Aug 1896
Newark
Philip was born on 21st August 1896 in Newark and was the son of William Pearce a brewers clerk and Emma Woolfitt nee Tomlinson of London Road Balderton Newark. William was born in 1863 in Newark and his wife Emma was born in 1868 in various places depending upon source including , Lutton Bourne. Linccolnshire, the United states of America or Ontario, Canada. They ere married in 1894 at Newark, they had 5 children, Philip b1897 Newark, Eva b1898 Balderton, Norah b1900 Balderton, Donald born 1903 Balderton and Albert b1906 Balderton. In the 1901 census the family are living at Homeleigh at Balderton, William a brewers clerk is living with his wife Emma and their children, Philip, Eva and Norah. they are employing 1 servant. By the 1911 census the family are living at 9 Wellington Road, Newark, William 44 yrs a brewers clerk is living with his wife Emma 43 yrs and their 5 children:- Philip 14 yrs, Eva, 12 yrs, Norah 10 yrs Donald 8 yrs and Albert 5 yrs He is buried with his parents William and Emma, in Newark cemetery, and was the elder brother of Sir Donald Wolfit (1902-1968), the actor (who changed the spelling of his name later in his career). The family lived on London Road, Balderton, where a plaque to Donald was erected in 1974. Philip's probate was proven in Nottingham on 30th March 1917 , it shows him as Philip Woolfitt of Homeleigh, New Balderton, Pte H M Army died 1st Novemebr 1916 at King George Hospital in London , his effects of £56 7 shillings and 9 pence went to William Pearce Woolfitt , accountant (his father)
01 Nov 1916
20
2750176 - CWGC Website
180165
Private
43rd Bn Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment)
The following is an extract from The Magnus School diary of the 'Great War' Wednesday 1 November 1916: The boy who became Sir Donald Wolfit, the Newark area’s best-known actor, lost his big brother Philip to War wounds at the age of 19. After earning a scholarship at the Mount School and attending the Magnus until he was 15, Philip went to Canada and joined his grandfather, J H Tomlinson, in Victoria, British Colombia. He began to learn surveying and was engaged with his uncle, Nowell Johnson, on Government work. As soon as he had finished this engagement, he joined the 88th Battalion of Canadians at Victoria in December 1915 and sailed to England in June 1916, when he had a few days leave and visited his parents in Balderton. Returning to camp, he volunteered to join a draft, was transferred to the 43rd Canadians and sent to France early in August 1916. He was in the firing line for only about a month before suffering severe wounds on 9 October. In addition to injuries to the right arm, left hand and head, severe shrapnel wounds in the hip caused complications. He was shipped to England on 17 October and underwent several operations at King George’s Hospital, London. He was treated with the best medical skill possible and with every care and attention, but owing to septic poisoning and haemorrhage no hopes are entertained of saving the young life. His parents, William Pearce Woolfitt, a brewers’ accountant, and Ontario-born Emma, were present when he passed away ‘most peacefully, practically in his sleep,’ at 10.15 tonight. They returned home to London Road, Balderton, and received a letter from the Chaplain of King George’s Hospital: ‘…All of us who have come in touch with the dear boy have felt that it was fitting that he should be called away on All Saints’ Day. His sheer goodness has inspired us all. His patience and cheerfulness were wonderful all through, for he has been suffering much pain. On Sunday morning he received Holy Communion with much joy and devotion. We have lost a lot of boys since July, but in no case do I remember such a widespread feeling of sorrow and sympathy in the Hospital as was felt today.’ Philip’s military funeral service took place in Newark Parish Church on Saturday 4 November 1916, after which he was interred in the Cemetery, London Road. His mother and father were buried with him in 1925 and 1938 respectively. Note: when Donald opted for the stage, he dropped one of the o’s from his surname.
The following is an article published in the Newark Herald , on 4th November 1916 , it reads :- PTE PHILIP WOOLFITT DIES OF WOUNDS The many friends of Mr & Mrs W P Woolfitt of New Balderton, will learn with much regret and sympathy of the death from wounds of their eldest son, Pte. Philip Woolfitt, of the gallant Canadians. Pte. Woolfitt, who was only 20 years of age in August last, was an old Magnus boy, and upon leaving school went out to Victoria, British Colombia, five years ago, to his grandfather, Mr Tomlinson. For the last two years before enlisting he was learning surveying and was engaged with his uncle, Mr Nowell Johnson, working under government. As soon as he had turned the age of 19, and had finished his engagement, he joined the 88th Battalion of Canadians at Victoria in December last and came over to England in June when he had a few days leave and re-joined his parents at New Balderton. Returning to camp he volunteered to join a draft and was transferred to the 43rd Canadians, being sent to France early in August. He was in the firing line about a month when he was severely wounded on October 9th, being wounded through the right arm, left hand, slight wound in the head, and a severe shrapnel wound in the hip, which caused complications. He arrived in England on 17th and was sent to King George’s Hospital, London where he underwent several operations. He was treated with the best medical skill possible and with every care and attention, but owing to septic poisoning and haemorrhage, no hopes were entertained of saving the young life and his parents were sent for and they were able to be present when he passed away most peacefully, practically in his sleep, at 10.15 on Wednesday night. The greatest sympathy is extended to Mr and Mrs Woolfitt in their great loss. The funeral, which will be of a military character, will take place this afternoon. There will be a service in the Parish Church at 2.30, and the interment will be at the Cemetery at 3.20. The following is an article from the NEWARK ADVERTISER - November 8th 1916 (p.5) MILITARY FUNERAL AT NEWARK Pte Philip Woolfitt: died of wounds. With full military honours, the mortal remains of Pte. P Woolfitt (eldest son of Mr & Mrs W P Woolfitt, New Balderton) who died of wounds sustained in France, were laid to rest in Newark Cemetery on Saturday. Deceased, who was 20 years of age, was an old Magnusian, having won a scholarship from the Mount School. After leaving school he went out to Victoria, British Columbia, to his grandfather, Mr J H Tomlinson. During the last two years of his stay in the Colonies he was learning surveying with his uncle, Mr Norwell Johnson. As soon as he was 19 years of age he joined a Canadian Battalion, and came over to England in June. Early in August he was drafted out, and after being about a month in the firing line he was badly wounded in the right arm, left hand, slightly in the head, and severely in the hip. He arrived in England on 17th and was sent to King George’s Hospital London where he underwent several operations. Owing to septic poisoning and haemorrhage, no hopes were entertained of his recovery, and his parents were sent for. He passed away practically in his sleep at 10.15 on Wednesday night, All Souls’ Night. THE FUNERAL The funeral service was conducted by the Vicar of Newark (Canon W Paton Hindley), and the obsequies were attended by a firing party, bugle and drum and fife band of the Royal Engineers. The first part was in the Parish Church, where the hymn “How those glorious spirits shine” was sung. Mr W T Wright, A.R.C.O., presided at the organ. The chief mourners were Mr & Mrs W P Woolfitt (father and mother), Misses Eva and Nora Woolfitt (sisters), Masters Donald and Albert Woolfitt (brothers), Mrs F E Hoe (aunt), Mr and Mrs W H Tomlinson and Mr H S Whiles. Amongst those also present were Rev. H Gorse (headmaster), and scholars from the Magnus Grammar School, Mr G B Friend, Ald. J C Wright, Ald. L Priestley, Mr C H Whitehouse, Mr and Mrs T A Watford, Mr G B Heading, Mr F Allott, Mrs. Garner (Commandant of the VAD Hospital, Lombard Street, Newark), Miss Garner, Mrs M H Colton, Mr E Winter Rose, and others. The cortege, as it wended its way towards the Cemetery, was headed by the Royal Engineers band playing the Dead March. Then came the firing party, walking with arms reversed. When near the Cemetery gates the band played “Abide with me”, and lined up each side of the entrance to allow the body, enclosed in an oak coffin, on which was the Union Jack and deceased’s cap, to pass through to the burial place. After the Vicar had concluded reading the burial service, the customary three volleys were fired over the grave, and the buglers sounded the “Last Post”. In addition to the family wreaths, beautiful floral tributes were sent as follows: With deepest sympathy from Uncle Albert, Auntie Jane and Auntie Fanny. In loving remembrance of dear Phil., from Aunty Lill and Uncle Billy (Hoveringham). In loving sympathy from J W P Hall. From Mr and Mrs E Harker and family, with deepest sympathy. With deepest sympathy from Mr and Mrs Otter and family. In loving sympathy from Mrs Heppenstall and Miss Heppenstall. With deepest sympathy from Mr and Mrs B Newbound. With sincere sympathy from Mrs Wright and the Misses Parnham. With kind remembrance and deep sympathy from Mr and Mrs Vason With love from Mrs H M Coles. In affectionate remembrance from Lieut. and Mrs J H W Ford and family. From Elizabeth Anderson “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” With deepest sympathy for a dear friend – Frank Slater. With deepest sympathy from Mrs H M Colton and family, South Scarle Hall. With deepest sympathy for a young life nobly sacrificed for his country’s cause, from a few friends at the Brewery Office. With pride in an old schoolfellow and in deepest sympathy, from the boys of the Magnus Grammar School. TOUCHING TRIBUTE In the course of his sermon on Sunday morning, the Vicar (Canon W Paton Hindley) made a touching allusion to the death of Pte. Woolfitt. He quoted from a letter written by the Chaplain of King George’s Hospital, who said: “He died at 10 p.m. last night, and all of us who have come in touch with the dear boy have felt that it was fitting that he should be called away on All Saints’ Day. His sheer goodness has inspired us all. His patience and cheerfulness were wonderful all through for he has been suffering much pain. On Sunday morning he received Holy Communion with much joy and devotion – we have lost a lot of boys since July, but in no case do I remember such a wide-spread feeling of sorrow and sympathy in the Hospital as was felt today.
Remembered on

Photos

  • 180165 Private P. WOOLFITT
43RD BN Canadian Inf. Manitoba Regt
1st November 1916 Age 19.
    CWGC Headstone - 180165 Private P. WOOLFITT 43RD BN Canadian Inf. Manitoba Regt 1st November 1916 Age 19.
  • This photo was first published in the Newar Herald in 1916
    Phillip Wollfitt - This photo was first published in the Newar Herald in 1916