Jack Phillips and the Titanic


The Chief Wireless Operator on the Titanic, Jack Phillips, came from Farncombe and learned Morse Code at Godalming Post Office. He stayed at his post as the ship sank, sending the SOS messages which brought the Carpathia to rescue the survivors of the tragedy. Jack’s last radio message was sent just 2 minutes before the Titanic sank and he was lost with the ship.

A significant local person and a key figure in a historical event of international significance he is remembered in the beautiful Arts and Crafts Phillips Memorial in Godalming, on a plaque in Farncombe Church and in a specially commissioned portrait and framed photograph on display in the Museum

Jack Phillips and the Titanic Workshops

A Jack Phillips session for KS 1 lasts about an hour and a quarter. It involves an introduction to Jack and to Morse Code, the Luggage Detective Workshop and Polar and the Titanic Pig. You can add additional workshops, including the Post Office Memorial Craft workshop or the Jack Phillips town walk, depending on the time you have available.

A KS 2 session begins with an illustrated talk on Jack and includes one or more workshops. Choose your workshops from the list below and do contact the museum to discuss what combination would work best for you in the time you have available.


Morse Code

How were telegrams sent? How did the tragic loss of the Titanic help to improve safety at sea?

Examine copies of original telegrams and work out the process of sending and receiving a telegram. Use Morse keys to send and receive messages in code. Find out about telegrams sent from the Titanic.



Luggage Detective

Who was travelling on the Titanic and why?

Examine “left luggage” and identify and interpret clues, to discover to whom the luggage belonged. Create your own traveller on the Titanic – what would they have in their luggage and why?



Polar and the Titanic Pig

Find out more about life on board the Titanic through the stories of two special passengers...

...Polar, a toy bear who belonged to 9-year-old Douglas Speddon and a pig musical box which belonged to Edith Russell. Use the beautifully illustrated book "Polar, the Titanic Bear", props and memories to explore the luxuries of first class travel and the drawbacks of wearing a hobble skirt




Post Office Memorial Craft Workshop

Why do we remember Jack Phillips?

Decode the symbolism of the ornate Arts and Crafts style frame of the Post Office Memorial to Jack Philips and use metal foil and embossing technique to create your own small memorial to take home or display in school

There is an additional charge for materials of 50p per student for this session



Town Walk

See Jack’s school and the Post Office where he learned Morse Code, before a study visit to the Phillips Memorial

Loan Boxes

We offer 2 loan boxes. KS 1&2 focuses on the stories of 4 travellers on the Titanic, including Jack Phillips. KS 2+ has more reading material and introduces some of the debate which surrounds the sinking and its reporting. The boxes come with teacher’s notes, which are also available to download from the pages below.

KS 1&2 loan box

KS 2+ loan box

Ring 01483-426510 or email museum.curator@godalming-tc.gov.uk to find out more or to book