A soldier’s death and a widow’s grief

Reader Liz Harrison has written this poignant account of her great uncle, Corporal Bert Phillips of Chesterfield, who died ‘a soldier’s death’ a century ago this month.

BERT WAS BORN ON OCTOBER 28, 1885 on Sheffield Road, Chesterfield. He was the second son of Henry Phillips, originally an iron roller from Dudley and his second wife Mary, née Higginbottom, from Brampton. When Henry married Mary
in 1884, he ran a confectioner’s shop
on Whittington Moor. Bert had an elder brother Edmund Lyndon, born in 1885.

Bert was only six when his father died in 1892. Mary, widowed for a second

time after just eight years of marriage, was left to raise her two children alone.

Soon there were to be three as just under two years a er her husband’s death, Mary was pregnant again and his younger half-sister, Blanche

Hardwick Phillips, was born in She eld on December 20, 1894…