The King's Royal Rifle Corps


Lieut-Col Teddy Phillips MC


In December 1944 whilst in command of the Carrier platoon of B Company, 2nd Battalion KRRC, Phillips was ordered to lead a night fighting patrol across the River Maas. It was the last water obstacle before the Siegfried Line and the patrol was told to bring back a prisoner. It was a high risk operation but under Phillips's leadership it was a complete success, and their prisoner provided much valuable information. For this action he was awarded the Military Cross.

In the Reichswald Forest he continued to be at the forefront of the fighting. He was wounded at one point but carried on leading his platoon up to the end of the war in Europe. He had been involved in the fighting before the Maas patrol incident. One of his first encounters with the enemy was when his platoon escorted the company commander to collect a group of Germans who wished to surrender. The group turned out to 200 strong and an enemy officer exhorted the dispirited men to fight. But the company commander shot the officer from the hip and the rest gave up. Phillips also rescued some men cut off by an enemy counter-attack, captured an important railway line in Ochtrup, and at Iloxtrum in Lower Saxony he re-captured two 25-Pounder guns.

By May 1945 he was a company commander and he took part in the bloodless liberation of Denmark, saving the country from Russian occupation. After the War he was posted to Palestine, then served in the Queen's Westminsters as Adjutant in London. He then went to Nairobi as Adjutant of the Kenya Regiment where he played much polo. He learned Arabic in Beirut which he assumed would help in his next posting to Khartoum but the ambassador told him that his polo playing skills were more important.

Edward Courtney Phillips was born on 6th June 1922 in Bombay. He was educated at Marlborough. When war broke out he was commissioned into the 8th Battalion KRRC and posted to Sandringham. He did not go into Europe until August 1944 when the battalion was broken up to reinforce troops in Normandy.

He retired from the army in 1960 to live in Herefordshire where he worked in the poultry business. He rose to be chairman of Cargills in 1984. He served in various local capacities, colonel of a cadet force, magistrate, chairman of the local Army Benevolent fund and president of the Eardisley Royal British Legion. He was High Sheriff of Hereford and Worcester, and Deputy Lieutenant. He married Anthea Onslow in 1947 and had two daughters, one of whom died in a car accident in 2000. Teddy Phillips died in 2001 and his obituary appeared in the Daily Telegraph on 23rd July.


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by Stephen Luscombe