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#319998 - 17th May 2009 9:46pm Brigadier Sir Philip John Denton Toosey
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
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Brigadier Sir Philip John Denton Toosey, CBE, DSO, TD, JP, LLD {Liverpool University} (12 August 1904 22 December 1975) was (as a Lieutenant-Colonel) the senior Allied officer in the Japanese prisoner-of-war camp at Tha Maa Kham (known as Tamarkan) in Thailand during World War II. The men at this camp built the Bridge on the River Kwai which was described in a book by Pierre Boulle and later in an Oscar-winning film in which Alec Guinness played the senior British officer. Both the book and film outraged former prisoners because Toosey did not collaborate with the enemy, unlike the fictional Colonel Nicholson. Toosey was born in Upton Road, Oxton, Birkenhead. He was educated at home until the age of nine, then at Birkenhead School to the age of thirteen and then at Gresham's School, Holt, Norfolk. His father forbade him from accepting a scholarship to Cambridge and so he was apprenticed to a firm of Liverpool cotton merchants. In 1927 he was commissioned into 59th (4th West Lancs) Medium Brigade RA of the Territorial Army. In 1929 he joined Baring Brothers, merchant bankers as Assistant Agent. His commanding officer in the TA, Colonel Alan Tod, was the Liverpool Agent at the time. He married Muriel Alexandra (Alex) Eccles on 27 July 1932 and they had two sons and a daughterIn August 1939 he was mobilized and saw brief action in Belgium in May 1940 before retreating back into France. He was evacuated from Dunkirk. Following a course at the Senior Officers' School, he commanded and trained a home defence battery at Cambridge. In 1941, promoted lieutenant-colonel, he was appointed to command the 1/35th Hertfordshire Yeomanry regiment. In October 1941, his unit was shipped to the Far East. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for heroism during the defence of Singapore. Because of his qualities of leadership, his superiors ordered him on 12 February 1942 to join the evacuation of Singapore, but Toosey refused so that he could remain with his men during their captivity. The film The Bridge on the River Kwai was released in 1957. In the film, the senior British officer was portrayed as working with the Japanese. This was regarded by many former prisoners of war as a gross travesty of the truth. Toosey initially refused repeated requests by the veterans to speak out against the film, being much too modest to seek any glory or recognition for himself. Eventually he was persuaded to write a letter to the Daily Telegraph, which caused several other veterans to emphasise the injustice that had occurred. Nevertheless the film was highly successful and so formed the public perception of events at Tamarkan. As a result Toosey agreed several years later to be interviewed by Professor Peter Davies, providing 48 hours of taped interviews on the understanding that they were not to be published until after Toosey's death. Eventually Davies documented Toosey's achievements in a 1991 book entitled The Man Behind the Bridge and a BBC Timewatch programme. A book by his oldest granddaughter, Julie Summers, The Colonel of Tamarkan, was published in 2005.

Toosey was a Justice of the Peace, High Sheriff of Lancashire, and raised funds for the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. In 1974 he was awarded an honorary LLD by Liverpool University and was knighted. Phil Toosey died on 22 December 1975. The Territorial Army Barracks on Aigburth Road in Liverpool was renamed The Brigadier Phillip Toosey Barracks. His ashes were buried in Landican Cemetery outside Birkenhead.


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#320000 - 17th May 2009 9:48pm Re: Brigadier Sir Philip John Denton Toosey [Re: bert1]
Doctor_Frick Offline
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Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
Im currently intalks with his son who still lives locally and trying to organise an intrview. Im sure he will have some great info.
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#320007 - 17th May 2009 9:58pm Re: Brigadier Sir Philip John Denton Toosey [Re: Doctor_Frick]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
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Loc: tranmere
Look forward to hearing it Doc.
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Don't send Jesus,
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#320115 - 18th May 2009 7:21am Re: Brigadier Sir Philip John Denton Toosey [Re: bert1]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7850
Loc: tranmere
The actual Bridge on the Kwai and the film version.


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bridge.jpg

Kitulgala-bridge.jpg


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Don't send Jesus,
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#1003585 - 4th Mar 2016 11:39am Re: Brigadier Sir Philip John Denton Toosey [Re: bert1]
Tiger1050 Offline
Beginner

Registered: 19th Feb 2014
Posts: 6
Loc: Wirral
I often used to see him shopping in Oxton Village many years ago as his Family home was there, just around the corner from me. In fact it is still the Toosey family home today. I have a current photograph of the house but cannot see a facility to Upload it in here. However, this is a YouTube video of a lecture give by Sir Phillip's Grandaughter about him that may be of interest.

[img]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIvewrzaJ2Y[/img]

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