After a childhood in the province of Bihar in northern India, Cyril Philips was called into the army in the Second World War, joining the Education Corps - the start of his carer as an educationalist. After the war, for the following 20 years, he devoted himself to establishing the School of Oriental and African Studies within the federal University of London as a permanent force in the system of higher education in Britain and a leading international centre for the serious study of Asia and Africa. This phase culminated in his election as Vice Chancellor, charged with the responsibility of creating new statutory framework for the federal university as a whole.
Growing up in Bihar; the struggle for a schooling; waiting for the call-up; roll on duration; at war with Michelangelo; a short trip into Africa; in search of Asian history; to be a founding father; into a federal maze; policing the police; the police complaints authority; "a terror watchdog"?' finding a golden mean.