Thursday 10 March 2011

A Noble Life - William G Iles

Wm George Iles

William George Iles
photo above taken during World War I
from the collection of Janet Iles

Born in Naunton, Gloucestershire, England on 1 February 1885, he was the eldest son of George Iles and Emily Pugh. He emigrated in 1905 from Birmingham England, with his wife and young daughter, May, his mother and siblings. It is believed that his father had come to Canada the previous year.

In World War I, William served his country with the 58th Canadian Infantry Battalion in France as a bandsman and a stretcher bearer. He left his young family to go overseas.

William began playing cornet as a boy of 14 in England and he soon joined a Salvation Army Band. When he came to Canada, he reorganized the Salvation Army Band in Owen Sound. He was its leader. He also took over leadership of the Legion Band that eventually became the Owen Sound City band. It is through his work with the brass bands in the city, he became best known. He taught many young people how to play a brass instrument.

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