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October 11, 2018

PDDRANSFIELD DR. PHILIP On the 17th July 2018, passed away at Meadow Court Residential Home, aged 98 years. He will be missed by all his Family. Funeral Service will take place at Slaithwaite Methodist Church, Carr Lane Slaithwaite on Friday 3rd August at 11.00am. A private Burial will take place at Morden Cemetery, London.the Huddersfield Examiner on 25th July 2018

I knew Philip when I was on the executive of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship. He lived near where I had my first teaching job. I found his views a bit extreme but I admired his commitment, not leas because his refusal to pay any tax towards weapons resulted in a very reduced pension.

He wrote articles for us.

A relative writes, in The Anglican Peacemaker: An APF member for 68 years, Philip died at the age of 98 years in July

Stories from the First World War killing fields set Philip on the road to pacifism when he was a schoolboy. He said “my mother used to tell me about the experiences of Slaithwaite men who had fought on the Somme. They told her about finding family photographs on the bodies of dead German soldiers and said ‘they were men, just like us'”. He found that very moving and his pacifism was born out of that, so much so that he would never join the Army Cadet Corps at school.

Philip became a medical student and qualified as a doctor in 1943. He registered as a Conscientious Objector during the war but as he was in what was known as a ‘reserved profession’ he did not see active service. He was drafted and served as a medical officer from 1946 ­1948 in Italy, Libya and Egypt (where he objected to those in charge about standing in the sun on parade!).

In 1951 he went to Kearsney in Natal, South Africa where he worked for 8 years as a medical missionary. His work was mainly among the Zulu people whom, he stated, he “loved very much”. When he left South Africa it was because the government gave him the ultimatum – take citizenship or leave.

Philip was a man of principles and he went to great lengths to stick to them. A poster in the local income tax office during the Sixties revealed that 25% of our taxes went on Arms spending. He decided that, instead of paying that amount, he would send it to the children’s charity, Barnardo’s. He thought the Inland Revenue would accept that but they did not and at the end of 6 years they took him to court and made him bankrupt in 1970 to get the money. He was very true to his faith and principles and led a life of strict economy. He only took work as a locum doctor from 1970 onwards to deliberately earn below the tax threshold so that his money was not used on armaments.

In 1986 he had another brush with authority when he took part in a peaceful demonstration at the top-secret American Communications Base at Menwith Hill. He was among a number of demonstrators who symbolically cut the wire boundary fence and was arrested. In court he pleaded guilty and was fined £56.

His CND activities stretched back to the very first Aldermaston March in 1958 and he wrote to successive prime ministers, presidents and archbishops about the Arms Race and other issues he felt strongly about.

For many years he served as the APF Retreat organiser and took a great interest in APF publications. He faithfully took part in APF witnesses around the UK. Philip took part in both `Lambeth Pilgrimages’ in 1988 and 1998 (where at 79 he was the eldest APF Pilgrim and even slept on church hall floors with his sciatica!).

Philip was wise, opinionated, funny, a loveable eccentric and an inspiration to all he met. He lived a long and extremely fruitful life and will be remembered with great fondness by all who knew him. With thanks to Christopher Dransfield

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