In memory, Phillip Edwards

12th December 2014


We are very sad to report the death on 12 December of Emeritus Fellow, Rear Admiral Phillip Edwards CB LVO.

Following a full career as an officer in the Royal Navy, Phillip Edwards was appointed Wadham's Domestic Bursar from 1983 to 1994. This was followed by a period as Development Director. He was a founding member of the Development Council.

Extracts from the eulogy at Phillip Edwards' funeral.

Rear Admiral J Phillip Edwards CB LVO was born and bred in an all Welsh environment. In 1942,  at  the age of 15, he started  as a Royal Naval Reserve  cadet in the  training ship HMS Conway; two years later winning  a cadet ship at the  Royal Naval College  at Eaton Hall, Chester – located  there while Dartmouth  was being used as a base for D Day.

From late 1944 he spent four years (apart from nine months at sea) studying at the engineering College at Plymouth, where  he was  awarded the  King’s Sword.  He returned  to sea  in  1948 as Lieutenant  in the aircraft carrier HMS Vengeance. He saw some action in the Far East. For the next 23 years his career  progressed with alternate appointments at sea  and ashore; in total serving in a battleship, an aircraft carrier, two cruisers, four destroyers, a frigate; and, last but not least, he spent  what he describes as ‘two glorious years’  in Her Majesty’s Yacht, HMS Britannia, as Commander ‘Engineering’ which  involved two long trips to the  Pacific and  the Antipodes. He then spent a happy two years with the  Royal Canadian  Navy in Nova Scotia, accompanied by his young family. He was promoted to Captain in 1971, and Rear Admiral in 1979, and in 1980 became Director General of Fleet Support (Policy and Services). During  the Falklands War he had particular responsibility  for the logistic  aspects of the campaign  (a huge burden of responsibility), and afterwards for  evaluating  the lessons learnt. He was made Lieutenant of the Victorian Order in 1970, and ADC to the Queen in 1980. In 1983 he was made Companion of the Order of the Bath, and retired from the Royal Navy. He was Liveryman of the worshipful Company of Engineers, and a Freeman of the City of London.

After retirement he began a new career, becoming Domestic Bursar of Wadham  College; and  between  1988 and 1994 he was Chairman of the University’s Committee of Domestic Bursars. On retiring, again, in 1994 he was  made an  Emeritus Fellow  of the College (with an honorary Oxford MAS degree), but continued to serve as  Development Director for a further five years.

Phillip and his family lived on Boars Hill since 1984, and Phil became fully involved  in local affairs. He was a leading figure in the Boars Hill Association;  he was Chairman  for 17 years of the  Oxford  Preservation Trust,  and  became a Vice President, he was President of Oxfordshire North  SSAFFA, and  of the Sea Cadets based at  Donnington Bridge, and  of the local Royal Naval  Officers Association. Not least, he was a member of the golf club  known as  Earwigs (Elderly and Retired with it  Gentleman’s Society).

  • Philip Edwards
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Services of Interment and Thanksgiving

A Service of Interment was held on Friday 19 December at 2pm at the Parish Church of St Peter, Wootton, Boar's Hill, OX1 5JL.

There will also be a Service of Thanksgiving in Wadham College Chapel on Friday 13 February - Phillip's Birthday - at 2pm.

The Service of Interment is open to all but since space is limited at St Peter's, those wishing to pay their respects may wish to attend the Thanksgiving Service in preference.

Parish Church of St Peter, Wootton, Boar's Hill, OX1 5JL