Today marks the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme, with services of remembrance being held across the UK in honour of those who fought and died on July 1 1916 – the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Tributes have been made to remember Private Horace Iles, the Uncle of the founder and owner of Trevor Iles Ltd, Trevor Iles. Horace Iles was a 14 year old blacksmith’s apprentice from Woodhouse Leeds when he joined the Leeds Pals Battalion underage in 1914. At 16 years old he was the youngest of The Pals to die amid the horror of the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Horsforth School – The Pals
At Horsforth School 12 boys in Year 10 Drama group will present the play ‘The Pals’, written by teacher James Bovington, which tells the story of Horace Iles.
Josh Wilkinson who plays Horace Iles said ‘At present we are working hard to learn our lines and rehearsals have started in earnest. We all enjoyed performing in Act One and are looking forward to staging Act Two. It’s going to be longer and better and for many of us it will be our first time acting on the big stage,’
‘However, we’ve got 800 tickets to sell for our four performances so we hope lots of students, parents, Horsforth residents and indeed anyone with an interest in military history will support us, and help us commemorate these young men who gave their lives in our country’s service,’
Adult tickets are £4, concessions £3 and £2 for students aged 19 and under. Profits from the play will go to a number of military charities as well as the Horsforth School Battlefields’ trip.
Mr Bovington would also like to hear from companies and individuals who would like to sponsor wreathes to be laid by students during the Battlefields’ trip at the graves of local men who fell at the Somme.
Transport firm First Leeds have unveiled a bus named in Horace Iles’ honour in a ceremony at the war memorial in Victoria Gardens that was attended by his nephew, Trevor Iles. Also present were pupils from Horsforth School, who will take part in the production ‘The Pals’.
The double-decker will mainly run on route numbers 1 and 6 through Woodhouse, the area that Horace called home. First Leeds business manager Bob Dorr said: “We’re proud to be able to name one of our buses after Horace Iles, one of many Leeds Pals who made the ultimate sacrifice on that fateful summer day in 1916.”
Horsforth School teacher James Bovington, who wrote the play ‘The Pals’ said: “We’re working hard to honour the memory of Horace and the Pals, so we’re delighted to join First Leeds and Trevor Iles in unveiling the bus, which is a fitting tribute to Horace’s remarkable story.”
Look North featured coverage of Horace Iles' story and featured the play and the bus unveiling. Trevor Iles was featured in the segment as he watched the play rehearsals and attended the bus unveiling. He also gave a short interview. To watch this coverage please see link: