Navy veteran and head teacher dies aged 104

Pip, aged 103, placing the ball at Norwich City football ground for a Championship match on Remembra

Pip, aged 103, placing the ball at Norwich City football ground for a Championship match on Remembrance Day 2018 PICTURE:Jason Dawson - Credit: JASONPIX

A former schoolmaster, who taught in St Ives, Earith and Bluntisham, has died aged 104.

Philip Harrison

Philip Harrison - Credit: Archant

Philip Herbert Harrison, known as 'Pip', was born in St Ives in 1915, the fourth son of Lillian and Charles Harrison, who was the mayor of the town.

Philip attended Huntingdon Grammar School and then went on to study at Goldsmith College, London University, where he represented the university at swimming and boxing, and well as playing football for his college.

His career in teaching was interrupted by the Second World War when he volunteered to join the Royal Navy.

Philip served on the Russian Arctic convoys for two years as a signalman, and in the relief of Malta, before being commissioned and then serving in the Indian Ocean off Sri Lanka.

For his bravery in the Arctic he was awarded the Ushakov Medal, a Soviet military award.

Following the war, Philip returned to teaching, soon becoming the headmaster at Earith School and later, until retirement, was the headmaster at the St Helen's School in Bluntisham.

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In 1948 Philip married Cynthia 'Tink' Shaw, a war widow from St Ives, the pair settled into their house in Houghton.

The pair had two sons and two daughters, 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Philip and Cynthia were married for 66 years and Cynthia died in 2014.

Whilst living in Houghton, Philip was founder and treasurer of the village cricket club in 1959 and chairman of the parish council in the 1980s.

At the age of 46, Philip took up golf and became a member of St Ives Golf Club where he was captain in 1967, and later went on to become president.

Last year, Philip and his 97-year-old brother Alan, celebrated turning 200 together in the Blue Boar Pub in Wroxham.

Both Norwich City Fans, Philip, was asked to place the ball at the football ground for a Championship match on Remembrance Day 2018.

His son, Bill Harrison, said: "On his 104th birthday this year, Philip was pleased to be a guest at the local Royal Naval Association lunch. He was able to walk into the restaurant from the car, eat a good meal, and then stand up to regale his fellow shipmates and their wives with an entertaining speech. His mental capacity never let him down, right up to the end."

Philip died peacefully at home on September 25, details of his funeral are yet to be finalised.