Elected F.R.S. 1967
David Phillips was born on 7 March 1924 in Ellesmere, Shropshire, a small country town with a population then of 2000, on the border between England and Wales. His father, Charles Harry Phillips, was a Master Tailor and a Wesleyan Methodist local preacher. His mother, Edith Harriet Phillips (née Finney), was a London-trained midwife, the organist at Ellesmere Methodist Church and a member of the Ellesmere Urban District Council. She was the daughter of Samuel Finney, who was one-time secretary of the Midland Miners' Federation, a Member of Parliament 1916-22, and also a Primitive Methodist local preacher. David's unusual middle name is the maiden surname of his mother's great-grandmother and it was a reminder that the family was supposed to be related to the Pilgrim Father James Chilton, who sailed on the Mayflower. David was known as Chilton Phillips in Ellesmere. There was one sister who was four years older than David. She left home at fourteen to train as a child nurse, later became a telephonist and married. Tragically, she died in 1942 from diabetes.