Dictionary of Welsh Biography


A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z



VILE , THOMAS HENRY ( 1882 - 1958 ), rugby player ;

b. 6 Sept. 1882 , in Newport, Mon. His rugby career was outstanding, as a player ( 8 caps for Wales , 1908-1921 ), referee (12 internationals, 1923-28 ), and administrator ( president of the W.R.U. , 1955-56 ). His playing career was extraordinarily long. He had his first chance with Newport in the third team in 1900 . By 1902 , he was a scrum-half in the first team. In 1904 , he went with the British team to Australia and New Zealand . Because of the presence of Richard M. (‘ Dickie ’) Owen ( DWB , 720) in the Welsh team , he had to wait until 1908 before gaining his first cap . He became captain of the Newport team in 1909 , and the partnership between him and Walter Martin was one of the most brilliant ever known. He had an acute tactical mind. He steered Newport to their historic win (9-3) over South Africa in 1912 . To his own, and everyone else's astonishment, he was recalled as captain of the Welsh team in 1921 , when he was 37. He had a notable career as a soldier , businessman , and social administrator . He was High Sheriff for Monmouthshire in 1944 . He d. in Newport on 30 Nov. 1958 .

Sources:

  • W. J. T. Collins , Rugby Recollections , 1948 (1948) ;
  • South Wales Argus , and Western Mail , 1 Dec. 1958 ;
  • The Times , 2 Dec. 1958 .

Author:

Professor Gareth W. Williams, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001