Philip Jervis Kay was born at Northwood, Middlesex on 15 June 1918.
He was educated locally until his parents moved to Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, when he attended Wellington College. He was in the Anglesey. He read history at Peterhouse College, Cambridge from 1936.
A keen sportsman, he was Suffolk Junior Tennis Champion and played at Junior Wimbledon. He was also a talented cricketer and hockey player, who captained the winning Peterhouse Hockey XI at the University Inter College Championship in 1939. He was also a Cambridge Wanderer, played for the LX Club and was elected to the Hawks, an unusual distinction for a non-blue.
After university, he intended to read for the Bar and became a member of the Middle Temple, however he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve before the outbreak of the Second World War. When war broke out in 1939 he was posted to the destroyer HMS Intrepid as a junior officer, serving until 1942, serving at Dunkirk, the Norway campaign, the sinking of the Bismark, and on the Russian Convoys. He was promoted to Lieutenant and transferred to the Coastal Forces in March of 1942, serving as a commander on motor gunboats and motor torpedo boats. He was stationed initially at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, then in the Mediterranean and finally, as Commander of a flotilla in the Dalmatian Islands. He returned to general service in 1944 in the destroyer, HMS Calpe, transferring to HMS Mercury, the Royal Naval signalling school, in 1945. He was attached to the Royal Naval Mission to the Netherlands, where he was the staff officer responsible for dismantling German submarine communication equipment. While on this mission, along with an Admiral, a few officers and sixteen ratings, he took the surrender of sixty thousand German troops. He was promoted to Lieutenant-Commander and remained in the RNVR until the 1950’s.
He married his wife, Pamela, in 1945 and they raised a son and a daughter. Later that year, after demobilisation, he joined a firm of insurance brokers at Lloyds, C. E. Heath & Co., where he rose to Managing Director, retiring in 1975.
His passion however was sailing, and later in life he was instrumental in commissioning HMS Mercury’s ‘Meom Maid’, a crewmember on HM Queen’s Dragon ‘Bluebottle’, and skippered the Lloyds boat ‘Lutine’. He was a member of RORC and a founding member of the Old Wellingtonian Sailing Association.
He was an enthusiastic yachtsman and became a member of of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Lloyds Yacht Club and was a founder member of the OW Sailing Association. He was instrumental in commissioning HMS Mercury’s ‘Meom Maid’, a crewmember on HM the Queen’s Dragon ‘Bluebottle’, and skippered the Lloyds boat ‘Lutine’. He also enjoyed horse racing and was the part owner of several steeplechasers with his wife.
After his first wife died, he married Daphne Fairbanks, the daughter of the film actor Douglas Fairbanks junior. At the time of his death he was living at Pettistree, Suffolk.
He was initiated in Lutine Lodge No 3049, London, the lodge associated with Lloyds of London, in 1949, where he served as Worshipful Master in 1959. He became a joining member of the Old Wellingtonian Lodge No 3404, London in 1960, where he served as Worshipful Master in 1963; Prince of Wales Lodge No 259, London in 1961, where he served as Worshipful Master in 1968; Grand Stewards Lodge, London in 1966; British Union Lodge No 114, Ipswich, Suffolk in 1974; Suffolk Installed Masters Lodge No 3913, Ipswich in 1983, where he served as Worshipful Master in 1992; Suffolk Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge No 9215, Ipswich in 1989 and Methuen Lodge No 631, Marlow, Buckinghamshire in 1995. He became a Founder of Philip Jervis Kay Lodge No 9300, Pettistree in 1988, where he served as Worshipful Master in 1993.
He was appointed Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies by the United Grand Lodge of England in 1969 and served as Provincial Grand Master of Suffolk from 1982 to 1993. In Royal Arch he was exalted in Chapter of Felicity No 58, London in 1955, where he served as First Principal in 1966. He became a joining member of Triune Chapter No 114, Ipswich in 1988. He was appointed Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies by the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England in 1969; Grand Sword Bearer in 1984 and Grand Scribe N in 1990.
Whilst serving as Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies and IPM of the OW Lodge, he gave an address to the Grand Master, during the 1992 PSLC Festival that was being held at Wellington that year, drawing on the historic and far reaching relationship between the Royal Family, Wellington and the Craft, and the guiding influence The Duke of Connaught & Strathearn and the Duke of Kent had both had to the benefit of the College, the Craft and the Lodge.
He died at Debden, Suffolk on 3 May 2000.