The Heroic Wireless Operator

Surrey Advertiser and County Times

The wireless operator who flashed out the terrible signal SOS, and gave the first intimation to the world of the appalling disaster to the Titanic, belongs to Farncombe, where he is well known and popular. He is Mr. John George Phillips, and his parents reside in Farncombe Street.

Mr. G. A. Phillips has lived in the district for many years and has held the position of manager of Messrs. Gammon's Farncombe branch for over 30 years.

Mr. J. G. Phillips, who was only 25 years of age, had in the short space of 10 years reached one of the highest positions in the wireless service. He is a native of Farncombe, and resided there up to the age of 18. At 15 he entered the Godalming Post Office, and took up the telegraphic duty, for which he soon showed special aptitude and ability.

Desirous of going in for the wireless service, he left at the age of 18, and entered the Marconi school at Liverpool. After receiving three or four months training there he was appointed a junior operator on the Teutonic. He subsequently served on the Lusitania, Mauretania, Campania, and the Oceanic.

On the completion of the huge Titanic he was offered the position as senior operator on that vessel. The post was naturally one of great responsibility, and the appointment of Mr. Phillips to it at the early age of 25 was tribute to his great ability, and the absolute confidence the company had in him.

A reported narrative, by the surviving wireless operator Bride, published yesterday, describes Phillips as sticking heroically to his work to the last. A lifebelt was fastened on him by Bride while he was at his task, and it is stated, a seaman endeavoured to take if off, but was violently prevented by his fellow operator.

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John George Phillips


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