J. Philip Morris

J.PHILIP MORRIS – Born 28th August 1927, Died 23rd April 2015

Philip was born in Moseley, Birmingham of Quaker parents. He had one sister, also a Sibford Old Scholar called ‘Pegeen’ (A shortened name for Margaret) She was a great traveller and spoke several languages. After looking after her parents at Seaford she came to live with Philip. Sadly she became unwell and died in Warwick hospital some years ago.

Philip attended Tindal Street Primary school before going to Sibford between 1939 and 1944, where he was Head Boy in his final year. After Sibford he went to Birmingham’s renowned Art School where he trained as a Silver Smith and as many will be aware he was a more than competent wood carver. He carved a replacement statuette of the Nellie Millard memorial which had gone missing and was originally carved by his great mentor Roland Herbert, which now sits in the entrance to the visitor’s room at the Hill.

He registered as a Conscientious Objector and went to Russia and Europe to do voluntary work at schools.   He qualified as a teacher of crafts in secondary schools in the South of England. He married Rosamund Flinn, also an old scholar, who came from a well established Sibford Village family and they had two sons Christopher and Stephen. They lived at Hemel Hempstead, Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield before retiring to Stratford –Upon-Avon where he was Clerk of Stratford Meeting for over twenty years. Unfortunately in the early part of this century his wife died of Cancer at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford where he went to visit her every day.

Nevertheless despite this set-back Philip continued to be active belonging to Stratford Art Society, Amnesty and a local photographic society. He had a small but lovely garden full of many plants of which he knew the names of most and where they came from. He also had an allotment by the Stratford canal where he grew lots of vegetables and kept himself and the local Meeting well supplied. He also continued his wood carving in the cellar of his house which he called his ‘studio.’

Philip was a great supporter of SOSA and became their President between 1996-1997 and only missed one Reunion during this time. He became a close friend of Jeanne Little, also an Old Scholar and they did a lot of travelling together to South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, where his son Stephen lives and where he took wedding cakes. Venice was also visited on their way home.

Philip was an honest, truthful, and high principled person. Apart from his two sons he leaves behind him four granddaughters, and he will be sadly missed, but following his Quaker beliefs he did live his life adventurously.

Written by Jeanne Little (nee Darling) at Sibford 1941-1945

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