The only son of the Mayor of Kensington, William Whitaker Thompson of Argyll Road, Kensington. His father was also Chairman of London County Council in 1910 and 1911. His mother was Isabella Thompson, daughter of Spencer Robert Lewin of Wideford. He entered Mr Aris’s House from St Aubyn’s school at Rottingdean. He was a Commoner Prefect for two years and became Head of House in 1916. He was a member of Sixth Book, specialising in Science and Mathematics. He was President of Boat Club and played for OTH XV and stood on dress for VIs. He was also a skillful carpenter. He was a good long distance runner, coming second in Senior Steeplechase, second in the mile and first in both the half and quarter mile.
He left Winchester and joined the Oxford OTC as a Second Lieutenant and commenced flying training with 58 Squadron on 14th July, being gazetted as Flying Officer from that date. Almost immediately he was posted to France but after four months was recalled to England for a rest and to take part in defensive night patrols at a time when air raids on London were frequent. He returned to France in March 1918, having been promoted to Temporary Captain at the age of 19 and joined 22 Squadron at St Quentin in March as Flight Commander of C Flight. His first operational flight with the squadron appears to have been on the afternoon of 20th March as the weather was too poor for operations in the morning. Three days later Thompson, flying Bristol Fighter B1171, was last seen flying over the lines near Cambrai, and it was thought at the time that he had landed at Bapaume aerodrome and been captured. However, Thompson had in fact been shot through the head over Prouville while fighting against several enemy aircraft. His observer, Second Lieutenant W D Kent-Jones, was taken prisoner.
He lies in grave II.D.15 of the Lebucquiere Communal Cemetery Extension, near Bapaume.
- Surname: Thompson
- Forenames or initials: Philip
- House: B
- Years in School: 1911-1916
- Rank: Captain
- Regiment: Royal Flying Corps
- Date of Birth: 30th March 1898
- Date of Death: 23rd March 1918
- How Died: Killed in Action
- Location in War Cloister: Outer G3
- Decoration: NA
- Burial Site: LEBUCQUIERE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, BAPAUME: Grave II.D.15