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On Monday 4 March, Clare Lambert (Head Girl) and Cameron Cullen (Dept Head Boy) attended the Admiral Arthur Phillip Memorial Service in St Mary’s Le Bow in the City of London.

Arthur Philip

Arthur Philip

Admiral Phillip was an old boy of Greenwich Royal Hospital School who joined the Merchant Navy as an apprentice on a whaling vessel straight from School. As war approached with France at the age of 17 he joined the Royal Navy. After the peace of Paris in 176,3 he was on half pay before returning to service in the Diplomatic Corps for a number of years.  He then returned to the sea and after a number of appointments was promoted Master and Commander in 1779. He was appointed to command the first fleet to New South Wales, there he established and became the first Governor of Australia.

The memorial service included an address by the Rt Hon the Baroness Liddell, former High Commissioner to Australia, attending the service were many notable personages including the Lord Mayor of London, the Lady Mayoress, Alderman Sir Michael Savory, the Hon. Juliet Evans Alderman and Sheriff Jeffrey Evans and the High Commissioner of Australia.

After the Service there was a luncheon in Grocers Hall with a number of dignitaries, many of whom were complimentary about the pupils and the School.

Statue in Sydney

Statue in Sydney

Percival Serle wrote of Admiral Phillip in his Dictionary of Australian Biography:

“Steadfast in mind, modest, without self seeking, Phillip had imagination enough to conceive what the settlement might become, and the common sense to realize what at the moment was possible and expedient. When almost everyone was complaining he never himself complained, when all feared disaster he could still hopefully go on with his work. He was sent out to found a convict settlement, he laid the foundations of a great dominion.”

The Royal Hospital School is a co-educational boarding and day school for 11 to 18 years olds set in 200 acres of Suffolk countryside overlooking the River Stour. http://www.royalhospitalschool.org