Capt Percival Phillips




Western Morning News - Thursday 31 January 1935:


PERCIVAL PHILLIPS, M.C, St. Austell, was seriously injured when a two-seater aeroplane which was piloting, making forced landing in the dark, crashed into the grounds of Springfield Mental Hospital. Lower Tooting, London, S.W., last night.

He was first taken to the Springfield Hospital, but was later transferred St. James Hospital, Balham, where it was stated early this morning that he was in a critical condition, with a fractured skull, a broken nose, broken leg, and other injuries.

His passenger, Mr. James Edward Fry, of Gloucester-terrace, who received injuries to tbe left eye and nose, and was also transferred to the Balham Hospital, was later able take his discharge. The machine, which was owned by Air Services, of Croydon, and was making a flight round London when the mishap occurred, was slightly damaged.

WAR SERVICE R.A.F. Capt. Percival Phillips, whose London address was given as the Aerodrome Hotel, Croydon, lives in St. Austell. During the war he served as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Coming down the Turkish lines in Mesopotamia, he was taken prisoner.

He is partner in the motor firm Messrs. Hill and Phillips, of St. Austell, and is senior partner in the firm of Cornwall Aviation Company, whose headquarters are at St. Austell. He has been one of tbe pilots in Sir Alan Cobham's Flying circus, and his acrobatic stunts in the air will be  remembered by many from the West country who visited the circus. His wife last night informed Western Morning News representative that she had intimation of the accident from London. Mrs. Phillips is the elder daughter of Mr. H. Rowse, of the firm of St. Auslell auctioneers. There are two young children."


d. 1938:

FLIGHT greatly regrets to record the death of Capt. Percival Phillips, D.F.C., R.A.F.O., managing director and chief pilot of Air Publicity, Ltd. It appears that Capt. Phillips, on his way home to Heston from banner-towing work at Hull, put his 504 Avro down in a field at Gamlingay, between Bedford and Cambridge, in order to call upon friends for lunch. In taking-off afterwards in gusty weather the machine struck a tree top, hit the ground, and caught fire.
Capt. Phillips, who had been with Air Publicity since their inception in 1935, was formerly managing director of C. W. A. Scott’s Flying Display, and had safely carried many thousand passengers as a joy-ride pilot. During the war he had seen flying service in Iraq and elsewhere.
Last summer, flying a veteran Lynx Avro used daily for banner towing, he won the Devon Air Race. Those of us who met him on that occasion and elsewhere recall him as a particularly charming and modest man, with an almost boyish zest for flying which belied his 45 years. To his equally sporting and enthusiastic wife – who was his passenger in the Avro during the Devon Race, and on many other flights – and to his two children, FLIGHT extends most sincere sympathy in their loss.’"


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