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Celebrating the life of Bill Viles

Volunteer and Ex-West Wiltshire District Councillor Bill Viles died peacefully surrounded by his family on May 5 in Plymouth, aged 84.

William Campbell Viles, more commonly known as Bill, was born on June 12, 1930 in Cheltenham where he spent much of his childhood as the eldest child of four children.

At the age of 18, Mr Viles served his National Service duties in the Royal Signals Corps. After staying in the position for two years, he returned to his beloved West Country where he was a telecommunications engineer – a position he stayed in for his entire working career.

[alertinfo]A note from Tim Hobbs, Head of Fundraising

“For Forever Friends ‘Young Bill’ will of course be remembered as the main driver behind the very successful Appeal Christmas Raffle held in the Atrium over many years.

With his fun and ebullient nature, Bill knew many, many patients and staff within the RUH and will be sorely missed, together with his quite outstanding and sustained fundraising efforts on behalf of RUH patients and staff.

Over his 25 years of support the sheer hours he devoted to his raffle table in the Atrium helped to maximise ticket sales and the income he helped raise – well over £140,000 in total for Forever Friends projects and other parts of the Hospital!” [/alertinfo]

He later moved to Wiltshire for work which led him to join the West Wiltshire District Council in 1976 as a Conservative representative for Limpley Stoke and Winsley and he was dedicated to this role until 2007.

Throughout this time, Mr Viles prioritised himself to housing and planning matters and became vice chair of the council in 2004.

Cllr Graham Payne, who has worked alongside Mr Viles, said: “It was a privilege to know Bill Viles and to work closely with him on the West Wiltshire District Council. We have kept in regular contact with each other and he always worked for all his electors and represented them in an absolute first class fashion.

“He was a good right-wing Tory who always remembered his working class roots in Cheltenham.”

After he fully retired from work in 1991, Mr Viles worked closely with the fundraising team at the Royal United Hospital in Bath where he was a volunteer and was in charge of their Christmas raffle which was something that he was very proud of.

He would often refer to himself as ‘Young Bill’ and he was a big supporter of ex-serving charities and would always be present at the Remembrance Day parades in Bath and Trowbridge which he never missed for 30 years.

Mr Viles was known amongst the community as a larger than life character in 2012 he moved to Plymouth to be closer to his remaining family.

Despite the distance, he still made time to travel to Bath each year for the Christmas raffle and would frequently fly to Germany to collect prizes.

In the last few months, Mr Viles health deteriorated but he remained in high spirits with his family around him.

His funeral will take place in Plymouth on 18th June.

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