Horace Phillips was born 31 May 1917, the son of Samuel Phillips and Polly Yaffie; he was educated at Hillhead High School, Glasgow, and in 1944, married Idina Doreen Morgan.
Phillips joined the Board of Inland Revenue, 1935. He served in the Dorsetshire and 1st Punjab Regiments, 1939-47, and transferred to the Foreign Office, October 1947. His diplomatic career then included: Acting Vice-Consul, Shiraz [Iran], November 1947; Vice-Consul, Bushire, 1948; Consul, Shiraz, 1949; 1st Secretary, Kabul [Afghanistan], October 1949; Foreign Office, 1951; 1st Secretary, and Consul, Jedda [Saudi Arabia], 1953; Counsellor, 1956; seconded to Colonial Office, December 1956, as Protectorate Secretary, Aden [South Yemen], until August 1960; Counsellor, British Embassy, Tehran [Iran], October 1960; Deputy Political Resident in the Persian Gulf, at Bahrain, 1964-66; Ambassador to Indonesia, 1966-68; High Commissioner in Tanzania, 1968-72; Ambassador to Turkey, 1973-77.
He was awarded the KCMG in 1973 (CMG 1963). He died in March 2004.