King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Harris, Philip Dawson

Captain ▪ North Staffordshire Regiment

Philip Dawson Harris, born on 25th April 1888, was admitted to King Edward’s School in September 1903, staying for only a year. His father, Arnold, was an architect, and his mother, Florence, became a nun. The family lived at ‘The Red House’, Barnt Green (and later at 30, Rotton Park Road, Edgbaston), with Philip’s brother, his three sisters and the family’s three servants. Philip married Gertrude Neuerberg in 1916 during his time on leave, and they had a son who himself married so that Philip was succeeded by a grandson.

During his time at the School, Philip had mixed academic results: whilst French was his weakest subject, he had a clear flare for botany.

Philip gained a commission in the North Staffordshire Regiment as a Second Lieutenant in 1911, and by the outbreak of the war had become a Lieutenant. He was sent to France later in 1914, and was promoted to Captain shortly before sustaining the first of two major wounds in 1915. He was invalided home and continued to serve as a General Staff Officer for twelve months. In January 1917, Philip was sent back to his regiment as an Adjutant. He was killed in action near St. Quentin in France, on 21st March 1918 aged twenty-nine. Philip is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial. His death was reported in the Birmingham Weekly Post in April 1918. Probate reports reveal that he left his estate of £328 to his widow, Gertrude, who was then living at 62, Hagley Road.