b. 22 December 1915, d. 21 January 2007
Laurie (Laurence Henry) Phillips
FatherLaurence Lee Phillips b. 17 Jan 1892, d. 6 Jan 1970
MotherRuby Barnes b. 1894, d. 1965

Birth, Death, Marriage

Laurence Henry Phillips was born on 22 December 1915 in Swan Hill, Victoria.1,2 
He married Eugenie Estelle Nolan in March 1944 in Heidelberg, Victoria.3 
He died on 21 January 2007 in Warrnambool, Victoria, at age 91.4 


Eugenie Estelle Nolan
ChartsO'Loughlin, Michael, descendant chart
Phillips, James, descendant chart


Laurie Phillips left the Australian Army as a corporal after serving in the Middle East, New Guinea, Queensland, the Dutch East Indies and Borneo. He was a 'Rat of Tobruk' and served on the Kokoda Track. Laurie married Gene (Eugenie) in hospital and they had two children. He has lived and worked as a dry cleaner in Swan Hill, Shepparton and Warrnambool. At the time of his death aged 91, Laurie had four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Laurie Phillips was born in Swan Hill and grew up there. He was the eldest of two sons of Larry and Ruby Phillips. The name Laurie was a popular family name at the time, as not only did he have the same first name as his father, he also later had a cousin Laurie (Laurence Lloyd) Phillips.
Dry Cleaner
Apart from his five years of military service, Laurie was a dry cleaner all his working life.

He began as a dry cleaner in Swan Hill, and continued there for several years after the war. In the early 1950s, he was manager of Gouge Dry Cleaning in Shepparton, before continuing later in the decade in Warrnambool.1,2,5,6
WW2 Military Service
Between 1940 and 1945, VX41253 Laurence Henry Phillips served in the Australian Army. He served in the Middle East from April 1941 to February 1943 where he was a 'Rat of Tobruk'. He served in New Guinea, including on the Kokoda Track, from August 1943 to March 1944. He served in Queensland for most of the next 12 months. And he served in the south west Pacific area, including the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) and Borneo, from April to October 1945. When Laurie was discharged after the war, he was a Corporal.2,7
Laurence Henry Phillips, Australian Army, service no. VX41253, 1940
Laurence Henry Phillips, Australian Army, service no. VX41253, 1940
; This photo was probably taken February or March 1941 when Laurie was stationed at the Darley Training Camp just north of Bacchus March2
Laurie (Laurence Henry) Phillips & John Redden c. 1941
Image: Roylyn Phillips
; Larry and Ruby's two sons, Laurie and Allan, both served in the Second World War.
Larry (Laurence Lee), Allan, Laurie (Laurence Henry) & Ruby Phillips (Barnes)
Love Will Find a Way
Laurie and Gene (Eugenie) got married in a hospital.

When Laurie had the first of several bouts of malaria while serving in the tropics, he was evacuated to the Australian General Hospital in Heidelberg. While he was in Melbourne, he and Gene decided it would be a good time for them to get married. They hastily organised a church in Richmond and hired a wedding dress and flowers. Gene travelled down by train from Swan Hill with her mother and sister, and Laurie's brother Allan, and they all waited at the church at the agreed time.

But Laurie didn't show up. His malaria symptoms had reappeared, and he was semi-conscious and speaking gibberish. Somehow the message got to the family at the church that Laurie had been taken to hospital, so they all went with the priest to the hospital. With everything they needed to have a wedding, Laurie and Gene were married.3
In later years, when things weren't going his way, Laurie joked that he wasn't really married because he was delirious and didn't say 'I do' at the ceremony.3
When Laurie Phillips passed away, he was 91 years old and left four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.4


  1. [S193] Trevor L Phillips, personal communication, 24 September 2004.
  2. [S335] 'Phillips Laurence Henry', B883 Second Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers 1939-1947, control symbol VX41253, service record, 1940-1945.
  3. [S383] Kaye Hunter, personal communication, 18 December 2014.
  4. [S271] 'Phillips, Laurence Henry', Herald Sun, 1990-, newspaper, online, tributes, Herald & Weekly Times, 22 January 2007.
  5. [S392] Australia, Electoral Rolls 1903-1980, online, 1954, division of Murray, subdivision of Shepparton.
  6. [S392] Australia, Electoral Rolls 1903-1980, online, 1963, division of Wannon, subdivision of Warrnambool.
  7. [S193] Trevor L Phillips, personal communication, 14 December 2012.
  8. [S193] Trevor L Phillips, personal communication.