Lieutenant in World War I (Royal Field Artillery) and Major in World War II (Intelligence Corps).
Became referee (13 internationals 1923-1931). President of Welsh Rugby Union 1955-6. High Sheriff of Monmouthshire. Brother of Doug with whom he established a successful soft drinks company in Newport.
During the 4 years that Vile and Martin captained Newport their record was : P158 W119 D18 L21 - Vile played 134 games and Martin 155 (including all 41 when captain).
2010 saw publication of the long awaited biography of Tommy Vile. A new book, compiled by Phil Grant who wrote the 'The Greatest Game Ever Played' which was the detailed account of Wales' victory over New Zealand in 1905, took three years to complete. The book 'Tommy Vile: A Giant of a Man' is printed and bound in Wales by Gomer Press, Llandysul.
The book is A4 in size, hardback with sleeve and runs to just about 500 pages. It is casebound and sewn, full colour and contains over 400 photographs and other images and produced as a limited edition of just 1000. Each book is individually numbered and signed by the author.
The book is a detailed account of Tommy Vile's life from his birth in 1882 until his death in 1958. It contains information on his early childhood, his rugby career, his refereeing career, his rugby administration career as well as all his other achievements including his war service.
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In the series 'A Peep in my Diary', published in match programmes throughout the 1946-47 season, the following appeared in the programme for Newport v Bristol played on 29th September 1946:-
"No. 3. - T. H. VILE"
"(The former Newport and Welsh International Half-back)."
"It is rather a coincidence that I should have been asked to peep in my diary on the occasion of Bristol's visit to Newport. I have always had a "soft spot" for Bristol, because strangely enough they were my opponents in both the first and last games I played for Newport, at Bristol in 1902 with Llewellyn Lloyd, and finally at Rodney Parade in 1921. During those years I met many of their prominent players - and Bristol have had many - whose names are famous in Rugby football."
"But the game that stands out in my memory above all others was the Newport match against Swansea at St. Helens in 1908-9. From about 1902 to 1910 Swansea were really a great side, and Newport had not won there for many years. This particular match augured badly for us. At the last moment our captain, the late Charlie Pritchard, was unable to play, and finally we had to make the journey with seven reserve players in the side. We had a great talk in the train on the way down and decided on a plan of campaign to keep the score down, which was the best we could reasonably hope for against the great Swansea side of those days at full strength. Billy Priest and Billy Bennett were the Newport centres that day - they were reserve players for the first team that season - and they looked after the Swansea centres, Trew and Toft, well."
"We got a snatch drop goal in the first half, and from that time, by grim tackling and stubborn team work resisted the brilliant attacks of the Swansea backs. Failing to get through, Swansea changed their tactics, and Joseph, Scrines and Ivor Morgan tried everything they knew by attacking with the pack. But it was no good; we held on to our four-point lead, and had a great reception when we returned to Newport victorious that night."
"This match taught a great lessons which is, never to despise your opponents. I am afraid Swansea despised the side we fielded at St.Helens on that Saturday in the 1908-9 season and by doing so lost the game."