Ivor Philipps

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For the rugby union and rugby league footballer of the 1960s, see Ivor Phillips.
Ivor Philipps, circa 1905.

Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps KCB, DSO (9 September 1861 – 15 August 1940)[1] was a British officer in the British Indian Army and a Liberal Party politician. He held a seat in the House of Commons from 1906 to 1922.[1]

Early life[edit]

Philipps was the son of Rev. Sir J. E. Philipps, Bt.[2] and his wife Mary Margaret, daughter of Rev. Samuel Best and sister of George Best, 5th Baron Wynford.[3] His older brother John Philipps (1860–1938) was a Liberal Party politician who became Baron St Davids in 1908 and Viscount St Davids in 1918;[4] his younger brothers include Lord Kylsant and Lord Milford.

He was educated at Felsted School,[2] and served in the military from 1881 to 1883.[2]

Military career[edit]

Sir Ivor Philipps

Philipps joined the Indian Army in 1883 as a Lieutenant,[2] and was promoted to Major in 1901.[2] He fought in the Anglo-Burmese War from 1885 to 1889, in the Miranzai Expedition in 1891, the Isazai Expedition in 1892, with the Tirah Field Force from 1897 to 1898, and served in China from 1900 to 1901 as Quartermaster-General.[3] He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in November 1900, in recognition of services during the Boxer Rebellion.[5]

He retired from the army in 1903, and joined the Pembrokeshire Yeomanry as second-in-command, becoming commander from 1908 to 1912.[4]

On the outbreak of the First World War, he initially served in the War Office, and in November 1914 he was promoted to Brigadier-General in command of the 115th Brigade.[4] In January 1916 he took command of the 38th (Welsh) Infantry Division, bringing the division to France, and after a break while he held ministerial office in London he led the division during the first assault on Mametz Wood, at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.[4]


At the 1906 general election, Philipps was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Southampton.[6] At each of the previous two general elections, the city's two parliamentary seats had been won a Conservative and a Liberal Unionist; in 1906 the Liberals won both seats. Philipps was re-elected in Southampton at both the January 1910 and December 1910 general elections,[6] along with his fellow Liberal William Dudley Ward. He served in 1915 as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions,[3] and was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1917.[3]

During the 1918 general election, both Philipps and Ward were re-elected as Coalition Liberals,[7] i.e. as holders of the "coalition coupon", a sent to parliamentary candidates at the 1918 election endorsing them as official representatives of the Coalition Government. However, Philipps and Ward were both defeated at the 1922 general election by Conservative Party candidates,[7] and neither stood again.

Personal life[edit]

In 1891 he married Marian Isobel, a daughter of James Buchan Mirrlees, of Glasgow.


  1. ^ a b Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 6)[self-published source][better source needed]
  2. ^ a b c d e The Times House of Commons 1910 (2nd ed.). London: Methuen. 2010 [1910]. p. 50. ISBN 978-1-84275-034-6. 
  3. ^ a b c d Hesilridge, Arthur G. M. (1922). Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1922. London: Dean & Son. pp. 127–8. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Obituary: Major-General Sir Ivor Philips". The Times. London. 16 August 1940. pp. 7, col E. 
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27337. p. 4915. 24 July 1901.
  6. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 189–90. ISBN 0-900178-27-2. 
  7. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 243. ISBN 0-900178-06-X. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tankerville Chamberlayne
Sir John Simeon, Bt
Member of Parliament for Southampton
With: William Dudley Ward
Succeeded by
Edwin King Perkins
Lord Apsley