[Skip to content]

  • Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Sanctuary Wood Cemetery Belgium. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
Person Details
Retford, Nottinghamshire
Arthur Phillipson was born in Retford on 17 Feb 1882 to George and Ann Phillipson. Arthur had six siblings who were all born in Retford, at Richard Street, Newtown Eliza born 1875, Kate born 1879, she died in 1904 age 26, Arthur 1882, Herbert 1884 and Mabel in 1891. Although George senior had previously worked in the local Rubber Works, by 1911 he was a 73 year old pensioner and out of work. Arthur meantime, in 1901 was employed as a milk seller and in 1911 had joined the ranks working in the local Rubber Works. Brother’s George and Herbert had both married and George having previously served in the Territorials, in France and was discharged in 1915 due to him being time served.
Member of St Alban's church, Ordsall. Employed by Northern Rubber Works
08 Aug 1915
477928 - CWGC Website
1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Buried in Sanctuary Wood Cemetery, Belgium. Four Territorials killed by shell fire Worksop Guardian 20 August 1915 News has reached Retford of the death at the front of four of the Territorials, killed by one shell whilst serving in the trenches. Of the four the best known is Sergt. Arthur Phillipson, younger son of Mr and Mrs Phillipson, of Richard Street, Newtown, joined the Retford Volunteers about 10 years ago and remained in the company after it transferred to the Territorial Association. He was an excellent soldier, being very keen in learning his duties, and he soon rose to the rank of Sergeant. He was also a very good shot, and his advice on the rifle and all matters appertaining to the duties of a soldiers was always readily given. His death has come as a painful shock to his parents, for he was an exceptionally loyal and dutiful son. He was closely associated with St Alban’s Church which he regularly attends. A short time ago we recorded with pleasure a tribute from his platoon commander after a singularly brave deed performed in the trenches. The Lieutenant wrote that he was proud to have such a Sergeant under his command. Sergt. Phillipson was killed, together with Lce-Corpl Scott and Ptes King and Smith by a shell during the recent heavy fighting when several German trenches were captured. He had been employed at the Rubber Works for many years and was highly respected by everyone for his quiet and gentlemanly disposition. Lce-Corpl Scott (20) who’s parents reside nearly opposite those of Sergt Phillipson, who was another of the victims, was formerly employed at Messrs. Jenkin’s Beehive Works. The news of his death is conveyed in a letter from Pte Farrand as follows:- “I am writing to you with deep regret to inform you that poor Percy was killed this morning (Monday) along with three more lads by a shell. Two battalions on the left of our Company were to make an attack at dawn and after an hour’s bombardment of the Germans, they did so and our Company had to file into the trenches they had left, so we came in for a good deal of shell fire. It was while we were holding this trench that Percy and the three lads were killed. I was in the next bay and got a good shaking but nothing more. We are all sorry to lose him, for he was very much liked by all in the platoon. He was a capable NCO and we were the only two from Retford in his section, so I shall miss him very much.” Pte King was the only son of Mr Ambrose King. Dominie Cross Road, and also formerly employed Messrs. Jenkin’s Beehive Works. He had been in the Territorials three years and was 21 years of age. Private Albert Smith attended the first camp with the Terriers just before war broke out. News of his death has been received from Pte Sly, his chum in the trenches. Deceased was formerly employed as a moulder, at Messrs. Jenkin’s. His parents reside in Alma Road. Sergt Arthur Phillipson Retford Times 20 August 1915 Sergt Arthur Phillipson who was 32 years of age, was the second son of Mr and Mrs George Phillipson, Richard Street, Newtown, Retford. He joined the old Retford Volunteer Company in 1905, and by dint of perseverance in his duties, rose to the rank of sergeant. He was of a quiet and general disposition, and took great interest in his work. He was very popular with the men, and his parents, with whom he lived, have lost one of the best sons. Col-Sergt G Phillipson, brother of the deceased, had the painful duty of forwarding the sad news to his parents, who are suffering from the terrible shock which has overcome them. The deceased soldier was educated at the Thrumpton schools and was first employed in the gardens at the Elms, resident of Ald J W Holmes. Then he became an employee of the Northern Rubber Works and was held in the greatest respect and esteem by his fellow workmen. It will be remembered that a short time ago his platoon commander paid a tribute of praise to him for a brave deed performed on the trenches. Lieut James, in the course of a letter, said he was proud to have such a sergeant under him. A little girl who was a great admirer of Sergt Phillipson, made a number of small articles and with the money derived from the sale of them, spent it in writing material for distribution amongst the Retford men in Sergt Phillipson’s company. A letter recently received from him and signed “your soldier friend,” stated that, “ the men are very pleased with the writing paper, envelopes and pencils. They desire me to thank you very much in deed, and you can rest assured they appreciate your kindness. I myself are proud of you, seeing that you are so young and working on our behalf. I am sending you a few postcards which I hope you will like. We are having lovely weather here and if it was not for this terrible war, I should be enjoying myself. I am looking forward to coming home. I hope it will not be long.
Ordsall St Alban's parish magazine, June 1915: 'Congratulations to ... Sergeant A Phillipson for distinguished conduct in the field.' September 1915: 'Honour to the Fallen. John Rossington, Percy Scott, Ernest King, Arthur Phillipson, JD Hilton, have been killed in France or Belgium. Frank Stockdale was drowned in the Aegian Sea when the King Edward transport was torpedoed. Percy Scott, Ernest King, Frank Stockdale and Arthur Phillipson were regular in their attendance at St Alban’s church and were among the most promising of our younger churchmen. Of such soldiers we had great hopes that they would exercise a strong influence for good on other lads in the years to come. All too soon they have fallen, leaving a wide gap in the ranks at home and we pray that their friends and relations may be comforted in their grief and that other lads seeing what has been done will follow their example in self-sacrifice and manly courage.' (Retford Local Studies Library, ref 942.52 ORD). 'The Sherwood Foresters in the Great War 1914-1919, 1/8th Battalion', p71 ('The Salient')1915: 'Included amongst the killed were Sergt. A Phillipson, who throughout had shown the utmost coolness and gallantry.'
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Sanctuary Wood Cemetery Belgium. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    Arthur Phillipson - Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Sanctuary Wood Cemetery Belgium. Courtesy of Murray Biddle