PHILIP J. LARGE was born to William F. and Mary A. Magee Large in New Jersey in July of 1914. The 1915 New Jersey census shows the family living at 940 Linden Street. Philip Large was the third of nine children, coming after Emily and William Jr. The elder Large worked at a radio factory, probably that of RCA Victor, when the census was taken in 1930. The family then lived at 134 North 11th Street, just off Cooper Street, near the railroad bridge that crosses the Cooper River above Federal Street.
Philip Large attended St. Mary's Catholic School and Camden Catholic High, then at Broadway and Federal Street, and operated a news stand outside the old Camden Courier-Post building at Third and Federal Streets after class. He left high school after three years, as did many boys of the Depression era, In 1936 he secured an appointment to a post as Camden County Park Guard. In 1938 he resigned when Camden City Commissioner Mary W. Kobus appointed him to the Camden police department.
On October 23, 1941 Philip J. Large was inducted into the United States Army. He was assigned to an Armored Engineer unit, most likely the 16th Engineer Battalion (Armored), part of the 1st Armored Division. The 1st Armored went overseas, to England in May of 1942, and to North Africa, arriving December 22, 1942. On February 17, 1943 he was taken prisoner when German units under the command of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel began an offensive against American forces in Tunisia at the Kasserine Pass. Private Philip Large spent the rest of the war in a POW camp in Germany. He was liberated by Russian forces in May of 1945 from Stalag 3B at Furstenberg, Brandenburg in the northeaster part of present day Germany.
Upon his return to the United States, Philip J. Large returned to his post with the Camden police department. In 1949 he took a position as a detective with the Camden County Prosecutor's office. He was promoted to Captain in 1956. In 1963 he was slated by County Prosecutor Norman Heine to replace the retiring Chief of Detectives Wilfred Dube. Sadly, Captain Large was diagnosed as having amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as "Lou Gehrigs's Disease", a terminal illness to which today there still is no cure. The appointment went to Lieutenant Russell Maurer. Ironically, Maurer died of a heart attack on March 23, 1964, about the same time Captain Large became a patient at the Veterans Administration Hospital at Coatesville PA. Philip J. Large passed away at the Coatesville facility on September 26, 1964. He was fifty years old.
During his career as in law enforcement Philip Large took part in the arrest of Howard Unruh, who shot 13 people in a daytime rampage in 1949, and in the prosecution of Dr. Albert Weiner, convicted of manslaughter when 11 of his patients died of serum hepatitis.
A lifelong bachelor, Philip J. Large lived with his mother at the Westfield Garden Apartments in East Camden. His father had passed away while he was a prisoner of war. Two brothers, William F. Jr. and James J. Large also served as Camden County detectives. William F. Large Jr. became Chief of Camden County Detectives in August of 1964. Another brother, Richard Large, owned a bar 213 North 6th Street in Camden known as The Grille. There were also four sisters, Emily, Irma, Marie, and Helen. All survived Philip Large.
After a Requiem Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Broadway and Market Street in Camden, and a viewing at the Harry Leonard funeral home at 2850 Federal Street, Philip J. Large was laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery in Cherry Hill NJ on October 1, 1964.
April 12, 1955
Philadelphia Inquirer - March 28, 1960
Gun At Work
The 21-year-old wife of an East Camden man, on the verge of a reconciliation after a five-week separation, found her husband dead from a gunshot wound of the head early Sunday in his apartment.
Camden county Coroner Howard W. Creran said Wesley W. Gaylord, 34, of 1026 N. 27th Street, Camden, apparently ended his life with a single shot from a .22 caliber rifle, which was lying alongside him on a day bed in the apartment.
WORKED AT DRIVE-IN
Creran said an autopsy would be performed Monday.
Gaylord, a maintenance man for the Tacony-Palmyra Drive-in Theatre, Palmyra, N. J., was found at 2 A. M. by his wife, Reba, of W. Walnut Street, Westmont.
She told Camden Detective Thomas Scarduzio she had talked with her husband Saturday afternoon about a reconciliation. She said she agreed to meet Gaylord at his apartment about 11 P. M. Saturday, after he finished work at the theater.
FINDS HUSBAND'S BODY
Mrs. Gaylord said she phoned Gaylord shortly before 11 P. M. at the theater, but was unable to reach him. Later she went to his apartment. He was stretched across the day bed, bleeding from mouth and ears. She called neighbors, who summoned police.
Scarduzio said he questioned Fred Basile, 18, of 356 Boyd Street, Camden, a brother-in-law of the victim, who said he last saw Gaylord when he let him out of a car near his home at 11:10 P. M. Saturday.
BUYS RIFLE FOR $20
Police reported Gaylord was despondent because of the separation and last Friday night purchased the death rifle from an usher at the drive-in theater for $20. ,
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