Godalming memorial service for Titanic hero Jack Phillips

  • 15 April 2012
  • From the section Surrey
Jack Phillips
Image caption Jack Phillips by Martin Ellis.

A service has been held to commemorate Titanic's chief telegraphic officer, Jack Phillips.

A memorial to the Surrey hero of the Titanic disaster was being reopened in Godalming after a £400,000 refurbishment with money from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Philips Memorial Cloister opened on 15 April 1914, on the second anniversary of the sinking.

Phillips perished after staying at his post until his equipment failed.

His last message was picked up by another ship, the Virginia, at 02:17, three minutes before the stern of Titanic sank.

The Rector of Godalming, Canon Mervyn Roberts said: "Godalming as a town was one of the first to react to the disaster and within a couple of days they had collected money together and said they wanted to put a memorial together, in particular for Jack Phillips."

Phillips was born and grew up above the shop where his father worked in Farncombe, near Godalming.

His first job was at the local post office, where he learnt Morse code, before moving on to Marconi.

Phillips is also being remembered at the pub in Godalming High Street which bears his name.

Posters all round the pub carry the names of the 705 survivors and 1,500 who died 100 years ago.

"Jack was the local hero in town and he is part of our heritage," said manager Karen Blaney.

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