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Sudbury peer Lord Phillips reflects on town's community spirit during Second World War as VE Day arrives



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A Sudbury peer, who lived in the town during the Second World War, has reflected on his memories of the conflict, as the country gears up to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day today.

Lord Andrew Phillips, who was made a life peer in the House of Lords in 1998, said: “As one who lived through the war, most of it in Sudbury, may I once again express my deep thanks to all those people whose commitment and bravery won the day – and I am not just thinking of service personnel.”

Praising the community spirit in the town, Lord Phillips said: “I still retain vivid memories of so much of those extraordinary times.

Pictured: Andrew Phillips, Lord Phillips of Sudbury and Theo Bird. (34378900)
Pictured: Andrew Phillips, Lord Phillips of Sudbury and Theo Bird. (34378900)

“It brought the best out of virtually everyone; the patriotism was almost tangible, underscored by an egalitarianism which was practical and everyday, such as rationing.”

During the Second World War, Lord Phillips’ father, Alan, was granted leave from serving in the RAF, which enabled him to secure the future of his law firm in the town.

His father would go on to serve as a solicitor to the borough council, while also taking on additional roles as coroner, clerk to the magistrates’ court and liaison officer with the town’s US air base.

“That brought direct contact with the Yanks, who were in and out of our home in Belle Vue Road,” recalls Lord Phillips, of The Croft.

Hundreds of American servicemen from the 486th Bomb Group were stationed at RAF Sudbury until the end of the conflict.

“Air raid sirens were frequent given the concentration of bases round here,” added Lord Phillips. “We even had a shelter in the house, in which I slept.”