Mr Philip Joseph Stokes was born in Egham, Surrey, England on 12 October 1887, later being baptised on 4 December that year in St Jude's Church, Englefield Green, Egham.
He was the eldest child of Philip Joseph Stokes (b. 1864), a bricklayer, and Sarah Ann Ward (b. 1863), both of London, who had married in Egham in 1886 and who went on to have a total of eight children, losing two in infancy. Their surviving children, besides Philip, were: Albert (b. 1892), Lily (b. 1895), Rose (b. 1897), Maud Violet (b. 1899) and Horace Alfred (b. 1905).
The 1901 census shows Philip and his family living at 19 Russell Road, Peckham, London. Like his father, Philip became a bricklayer. By the time of the 1911 census the family were living at 11 Barmeston Road, Catford, London but Philip was absent. Family lore states that he had become involved with a girl who was already betrothed and his parents paid for him to go to America to keep him occupied. He crossed the Atlantic in 1910 and spent time in Detroit, Michigan, appearing on the 1910 census there. Apparently the young woman wrote to him after reconsidering her situation, asking him to return and he arrived back in England on 13 December 1911 aboard the Campania. The identity of his suitor is unknown.
For his return to the USA Philip boarded the Titanic in Southampton on 10 April 1912 as a second class passenger (ticket number 13540 which cost £10, 10s), giving his last address as 91 Hawstead Road, Catford, London and his destination as the home of his uncle Philip O'Grady in Kewanee, Illinois.
Mr Stokes died in the sinking. His body was recovered by the MacKay Bennett, #81 and was buried at sea on 24 April 1912:
NO. 81. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 35. - HAIR, FAIR.
CLOTHING - Blue serge coat and trousers; grey cardigan; white shirt; flannel singlet.
EFFECTS - Gold watch and chain, and fob: pocket book; knife; keys; gold pin; silver match box; fountain pen; gold ring marked "P.S.", cheque on Dominion Bank, payable at Windsor, Ont., for $243.12; memo book; Masonic button; photo; in purse. £11 9s. 8d., and 1 dime.
SECOND CLASS NAME. -
PHILIP JOSEPH STOKES,
His estate, worth £48, 12s, 6d, was administered to his father on 24 May 1912 and his parents were also assisted financially by the Titanic Relief Fund.
His father spent his last days in the Oakcroft Rest Home in Grove Park, London and he died on 4 February 1951. What became of his mother is uncertain.