Obituaries, January 11th 2012
12:38pm Wednesday 11th January 2012 in Obituaries
CAPT. H.W. (BILL) PHILLIPS
If evidence were needed of the high regard and esteem in which Capt. Henry William (Bill) Phillips was held across the entire spectrum of Pembrokeshire life it was demonstrated by the capacity attendance at his funeral at Parc Gwyn Crematorium on Thursday December 29th.
Captain Phillips of Scarrowscant Lane, a member of an old Haverfordwest family, who died on Monday December 19th aged 90 after a long illness, was a leading figure in his native County for many years.
Eldest of four sons of local master builder Mr Harry Phillips, he joined the Merchant Navy at the age of 15 in 1936, and during World War Two served with great distinction as a Third Officer, and one of the unsung heroes of the Arctic convoys.
In July 1942 his ship, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Aldersdale, which was escorting the ill-fated PQ17 Arctic convoy to Russia, was sunk by a flight of three Junkers 88 bombers off Spitzbergen after the convoy had been forced to scatter and was abandoned by its Royal Naval escort.
With its Captain, Chief Officer, Chief Engineer and two other crew members, 21-years-old Third Officer Phillips discovered that the Aldersdale’s two lifeboats had gone, each of their crews assuming they were in the other boat. They had to launch the ship’s jollyboat to escape the sinking ship, and were rescued by the Minseweeper Salamander, eventually being landed ashore in Archangel. In a dramatic account of the disaster in the 1968 book "Convoy to Hell" Captain Phillips described with characteristic understatement and humour his experiences as a ‘refugee’ stranded for three months in the austerity of war-torn Archangel and Murmansk. The book’s flyleaf features a poem written by Captain Phillips in tribute to the men who perished in Convoy PQ17, from which a mere handful of the original 33 merchant ships survived.
After the war Captain Phillips became a Trinity House pilot and in 1960, while piloting tankers at the developing oil port at Milford Haven, he was honoured by appointment as a Younger Brother of Trinity House. He was elected to the former Pembrokeshire County Council, became chairman of the Pembrokeshire Health Authority from 1988 to 1998, performing sterling work in the retention and development of hospital services in the County. He was also a leading influence in the foundation and development of Pembrokeshire College, of which he was chairman for many years, and in the establishment and development of the Torch Theatre at Milford Haven. He was a leading and influential figure in the Pembrokeshire Conservative Association, in which his wife Cicely worked assiduously alongside him, and was a member of Probus and of various charitable organisations including the Perrot and Vawer’s Trusts.
His public work was performed quietly and without fuss and his humility, warmth and kindness were as legendary as his sense of humour. After life-saving surgery on an aortic aneurism, which caused him to lose his voice, he joked that he would sue the surgeon for depriving him of a distinguished singing career.
Attended by former Pilots, Port representatives, College and Hospital officials and many friends, the service of remembrance and thanksgiving for his life was conducted by Father John Patrick Thomas of Haverfordwest Roman Catholic Church, assisted by Deacon Tony Lawrence. Mrs Maxime Thomas of Pembrokeshire College gave a moving eulogy while his granddaughter Jenny read one of his favourite poems.
The principal mourners were his wife of 64 years Cicely Phillips, Dorothy and Noel Fraser of London (daughter and son-in-law), grandchildren Jenny, Rachel and Peter, Pamela Phillips (sister-in-law), Donald and Lynda Phillips (brother and sister-in-law), and many other family members and friends. His brother Wyn was unable to attend due to ill health.
There were family flowers only but donations in lieu may be made to either the RNLI, The Paul Sartori Foundation or Barnado’s and sent to Mrs M. Al-Samarrai, 21, Scarrowscant Lane, Haverfordwest, Pembs, SA61 1EP.
The funeral arrangements were carried out by Roy Folland and Son.
Mrs Iris Nicholas
(formerly from Jameston and Stepaside)
The death occurred on December 9th of Mrs Iris Nicholas at Wessex Lodge Nursing Home, Whitchurch. She was 86.
She was evacuated from London to Manorbier during WWII. Upon marrying John Nicholas in 1946 they settled in his native village of Jameston. They then moved back to London in 1959, then to Nottingham in 1961. Following the death of husband John in 1986, Iris moved to Valley Prospect, Stepaside where she lived until 2007 when she moved to Hampshire to be closer to her only son, Brian.
The family left to mourn and principal mourners are Brian (son); Penny (daughter-in-law); Becky, Lucy, Mark, Leigh and Laura (grandchildren); Mia (great granddaughter); Stefan (nephew and representing Molly Dennis, sister and Brian Dennis (brother-in-law, Stepaside); Donald Downs (brother-in-law); Angela Wharfe (niece); John Wharfe, Jason Wharfe, Terence Downs (nephew); Colin Downs (nephew, Kent); Craig Swanborough (granddaughters partner); Maureen Mant (niece); Veronica Bovill (matron of nursing home); Cathie Hope (daughter-in-laws mother and friend); Joan Norris (friend) The funeral service took place at Basingstoke Crematorium, Hampshire followed by internment at the grave of John Nicholas in Nottingham in early 2012.
There were immediate family flowers only with donations in lieu to the Alzheimerís Society c/o Messrs Spencer and Peyton Ltd, Funeral Directors, 380 Worting Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Mrs. A. J. Thomas
Pembroke (formerly Moreton and Tenby)
Mrs Anita June Thomas (known to all as June) of Pembroke, (formerly of Moreton and Tenby) passed away on November 15th 2011 aged 72. June was the much loved wife of Danny, loving mother to Richard, Jennifer and Judith, stepmum to Darren, mother-in-law to Mike, Lynne, Sharron and Mike, grandmother to Naomi, Jette, Ben and Jonathan, sister to Eileen, Gwyneth, Pauline and sister in law to Ernest. June was born and brought up at Hopshill Moor, Moreton, the third of four daughters to Archie and Winnie John. The early years of her married life were spent in Tenby raising her children, Richard and Jennifer. After marrying her second husband, Danny, in 1991 June moved to Pembroke, becoming stepmum to Darren and later a devoted grandmother to Naomi. In 2009 June was reunited with her eldest daughter Judith and welcomed her and her husband Mike and two grandsons, Ben and Jonathan into the family._Many will fondly remember June from the many years that she spent working with her cousin Brian and friend Lionel at Hilling and Allen in Upper Frog Street, Tenby. Remembered for her beautiful voice, June was a lifelong member of Moreton Chapel and spent her free time singing with her good friend Eva Rich in many local services and as pianist for the Kilgetty Male Voice Choir._Being an avid knitter, June always had something 'on the go' for a friend, relative or neighbour and even during the time spent in hospital made several items for the Christmas Shoe Box Appeal and Christmas gifts for her family. She was also a keen gardener and could be found in the garden on many sunny afternoons tending the borders, reading or listening to music whilst Danny pottered about in the greenhouse nearby._June’s family were everything to her and she spent many weekends and school holidays devoting her time to her grandaughter Naomi, godson Glen and his sister Jadie, taking them on outings to Cardiff, to the beach, Pembroke Fair or baking her famous welsh cakes or little iced cakes with them at home in Lowless Close. Many annual holidays were spent in Florida, staying at the homes of Richard and Jennifer and their families. Both Danny and June looked forward immensely to these trips, especially since June's retirement meant that they could stay for six or seven weeks at a time._Many family and friends attended June’s funeral which was held on 22nd November at Moreton Chapel, drawing recognition to all the lives that she had touched over the years and the community she loved. The service continued at Parc Gwyn and was led by Rev. Alan Jenkins, with the bearers being brother in law Ernest, nephew Nicholas, stepson Darren, godson Glen, cousin Brian and his son Dale._At Moreton, a moving tribute was read by Brian Hilling, followed by a reading from the scriptures by her younger sister Pauline and a touching poem read by her daughter Jennifer. June's ashes were interred the following day in the grave of her mother and father at Bethesda Chapel, near Moreton._Affectionately known as ‘Aunty June’ to many outside of her extended family she will be deeply missed by everyone for all the love, help, advice and friendship she bestowed on all who knew her. Donations can be made in June’s memory to Ward 10 of Withybush Hospital, for their unwavering support and may be sent c/o E. C. Thomas and Son, Funeral Directors, Archways, Green Plains, Stepaside, Narberth SA67 8LT who also conducted the funeral arrangements.
Mrs M L Haines
After a long illness, the death of Margaret Lilian Haine, formerly Howells occurred at Withybush Hospital on December 10th she was 76.
Lilian was born in Rafael Fach Fishguard, and after she left school, went to work in the grocer shop, Melias, and in a short time became the manageress. She married John Haines in 1956 and eventually made their home at Llys Y Delyn, Fraich, Fishguard, where they enjoyed running a kennel and cattery for many years.
Even though Lilian suffered with illness all her life, she remained positive and cheerful throughout.
The funeral service took place at her home and was officiated by Rev Menna Brown and Rev John Roberts. Burial followed at Tabernacle Cemetery.
The principal mourners were Janet and Paul (daughter and son-in-law) Bethan and Adam, Mari and Nathan (grandchildren) Isabel, Ffion and Joseph (great grandchildren); Roy Williams, Raymond Jones and family. Priscilla Morgan and family, Olive Jones and family, Harris and Brenetta Morgan, together with numerous other relations and friends.
The bearers were Adam Evans and Nathan Raymond (grandchildren), Raymond Jones (cousin) and Ian Stitchell (friend).
The funeral arrangements were carried out by Paul Jenkins and Sons, Fishguard.