William Herbert Viles

Australia Military Forces


BIRTH: 9 August 1893
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
DEATH: 24 April 1956 Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
DEATH: 24 April 1956
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

OCCUPATION: Boilermaker, 1916; Tripe Stripper, 1930

RESIDENCE: Bennington St Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, 1911, 1924; Park Rd Burwood, NSW, 1916


  • Cheltenham RU 1910, 1911
  • Wests RL 2nd Grade 1914
  • Wests RL First Grade 1915
  • Wests RL 2nd Grade 1920, 1921
  • Wests RL 2nd Grade League Cup 1920


This player was recorded as G. Viles when he played for Wests in 1914 and 1915, although on one occasion he was recorded as W. Viles. A person by the name of W. Viles also played for Wests in 1920.

The challenge for researchers was to determine whether these players were connected. Secondly, it was necessary to try and identify a G Viles or W Viles that lived in the Western Suburbs district.

Viles is not a common surname and there were several men with that surname that had to be considered. There was George Viles, born 1897, who lived at Summer Hill. He was on a ship to Gallipoli when the player Viles was playing with Wests. George was therefore excluded as a candidate.

In 1914, a twenty nine year old Seaman named Edwin George Viles, lived in Sydney St, Powell’s Estate Concord. Given Edwin’s age it is not likely that he would have made a First Grade debut for Wests at half back.

There appeared to be no viable candidate and so the search for player Viles couldn’t proceed further. Rugby league historian Tony McCarron then came across some further information. This information indicated that a William Herbert Viles was also living in Wests territory at the relevant time. William’s story was gradually assembled to confirm that he was the Wests player.

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