Philip was born the son of Elizabeth Amos later of Speirs Street Aramoho Wanganui and attended Goodwood School. On enlistment he gave his address as Gisborne, and became a trooper in the Otago Mounted Rifles. He embarked from Wellington as part of the 7th reinforcements on the 9th of October 1915. He would have sailed on HMNZT 32,33 or 34 on the Aparima, Navua or Warrimoo.
He arrived at Suez in the last week of November, 1915. With the end of operations at Gallipoli most of the New Zealand forces sailed for the Western Front and Philip sailed with them.
By 1917 he was serving with the Wellington Infantry Regiment, Second Battalion entrenching Company. He won the Military Medal (MM) during the battle of Messines and his citation reads: "Period 7th to 11th June 1917. This N.C.O. was in charge of the breakdown gang on forward tramlines during the Messines Offensive. Throughout his tour of duty he never hesitated to take his party into the hottest place to repair the shell holes as fast as they were made. By his courage and devotion to duty he kept the lines open to traffic and very materially assisted forward operations." (London Gazette under name of AMES), 16 August 1917, p. 8429, Rec. No. 827).
He was killed in action on the 7th of May 1918 when serving as a temporary Sergeant in France , sources suggest Bapaume. Although he has no known grave, he is commemorated in the Buttes New British Cemetery (New Zealand) Memorial, Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium