Brigadier Philip Herbert GRAVES-MORRIS, D.S.O., M.C. (38518)
Commanded the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from September 1951 to November 1955.
Philip Graves-Morris was born at Luton on the 8th May 1907. He was educated at King's School, Worcester and Sandhurst. He joined the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from Sandhurst in 1927 as a Second Lieutenant, at Biebrich in Germany, and served with it in Plymouth, Malta, Shanghai, Tientsin and Peking, where he was Adjutant of the Embassy Guard.
On completion of six years’ foreign service he returned to England to join the 1st Battalion at Aldershot and was, for a time, Staff Captain of the 5th Infantry Brigade. He accompanied the 1st Battalion to Palestine in 1938 at the time of the Arab rebellion and became Intelligence Officer. He was Mentioned in Despatches for his services during these operations.
At the outbreak of war in 1939 he moved with the battalion to the Sudan whence he attended the Staff College at Haifa. After a short tour as Brigade Major, he rejoined the battalion as a Company Commander at the start of the Eritrean Campaign and was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in action at the battle of Gogni. He was wounded during the battle of Keren. He returned to the battalion after the capitulation of the Italians at Amba Alagi, and accompanied it to Egypt, where he became Chief Instructor of the Middle East O.C.T.U., and subsequently Brigade Major of 16th Infantry Brigade with which he sailed to Ceylon, and was present there during the Japanese air attacks on the Island. He moved with the 16th Brigade to rejoin its parent 70th Division in India where he took over command of the 2nd Battalion The York and Lancaster Regiment and served with them as Chindits in the late General Wingate’s second Burma expedition. For his services during this campaign he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
Brig. P. H. Graves-Morris, DSO, MC
He returned to England in 1945 and became G.S.O. 1 to the British Military Mission to the Netherlands, and on its disbandment at the end of 1946, took over command of the West Midland (later Mercian) Brigade Training Centre at Oswestry. In 1948, after a short spell as a G.S.O. 1 at the Directorate of Military Training at the War Office, he went as Military Attache to the Embassy at Stockholm.
In September 1951 he was appointed Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion and was in command during the last eighteen months of the battalion’s anti-terrorist operations in Malaya and returned with the Battalion to Bulford.
In 1954 he was appointed Brigade Colonel of the Mercian Brigade at its Headquarters at Lichfield, and did much to foster the good relations between the Regiments of the Brigade.
In November 1957, he was appointed Military Attache of the Embassy at Madrid with the local rank of Brigadier, returning to this country in July 1961, pending retirement.
Brigadier Philip Graves-Morris retired from the Army after 34 years’ service on 5th October, 1961.
The above covers Brigadier Graves-Morris’ distinguished Military career, but he will be remembered too, by all former Officers and other ranks for the keen interest he has always taken in all forms of sport. He represented the R.M.C., Sandhurst in Athletics, Boxing and Rugby, and has been a member of battalion teams in all branches of sport. He was Rhine Army Quarter-mile champion in 1928. During his time at Plymouth he was a keen rider to hounds and although never successful in winning a point-to-point race, figured frequently in the placings. In Peking he won his “Pink” in a Paper Hunt. In Malta he became an enthusiastic polo player and achieved a handicap of 2, and later in China played for Peking. Perhaps it is true to say that versatility rather than outstanding prowess has been the more notable feature of his sporting career.
In his retirement Brigadier Philip Graves-Morris settled in Herefordshire, with his wife Auriol—who is the daughter of the late Major E. L. D. Brownell, of the Regiment, and of the sister of Brigadier B. C. S. Clarke. His wife Auriol died in 1979.
Brigadier Philip Graves-Morris died at Hereford on the 15th November 1991 at the age of 84.