In about 1933 Phillip came out to South Africa to visit his parents and then as his father had taken early retirement and was on a pension, they returned to England with him. It was about this time that they purchased a house in Bournemouth, living there until about 1936 when his mother's health necessitated their returning to Africa as the physician recommended she move to a warmer climate.
In 1939 Phillip completed his schooling and was due to start at Cranwell [the R.A.F academy] but in the time between his sailing for Cape Town to visit his parents and when he was due back in UK war had been declared in September. His mother would not hear of him leaving or joining up, insisting that he found a job first so that he would have something to come back to after the war and not find himself in the desperate plight which she had observed was suffered by soldiers returning after the First World War. So he took a job at the Standard Bank in Cape Town as a clerk and over the first year advanced to the Foreign Exchange Department.
As the war news worsened Phillip, like so many other young men, became more and more anxious to join the forces. Also employed by the Bank was a friend of his father who used to go fishing with them at the weekend and it was arranged between them that, when Phillip took his annual leave, he should travel to Rhodesia and from there send a telegram stating that he had been 'called-up' and in that way the Bank would be obliged to release him for the duration of his war service. So in about June of 1940 that is what he did, joining the RAF in Salisbury. After his basic training he was, like all his squadron, posted 'up north' (that is to North Africa).