Portsmouth Music Scene

The Portsmouth Music Scene

Fred Wyllie

Fred Wyllie was born on the Isle of Wight in 1923 and came to portrsmouth after national service during Worl War 2. Married in 1951 to Joan Jeanes. He played tenor sax in many bands but in particular the Johnny Lyne band when they won the 1953 Melody Maker Best UK Band competition.
He also played with the Wally Fry band and rasn his onw band and played summer season on the Isle of Wight and also on the Canberra. In recent years has be associated with the Royal Marine Association Band.

In 1952, they entered and came second.
However they won four trophies for other catogories,
ie Best Leader, Best Arrangement etc.
Left to right, Joe English, Arthur Ward, Freddie Hutchins, Duggie Wheeler, Johnny Lyne, Ken Bishop,
Cyril Breeze, Fred Wyllie(with glasses), Bill Cole(without glasses!) p1030818x

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Left to right, Eddie Miles bongoes, Freddie Hutchins bari sax, Fred Wyllie tenor sax(with glasses), Cyril Breeze tenor sax, Ken Bishop tenor sax, Duggie Wheeler trombone, Back Row;- Joe English bass, Johnny Lyne Trumpet, Arthur Ward drums.
piano? unknown, probably Bill Cole

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The Fred Wyllie Band, with left to right, Fred Wyllie, unknown lady, Roger Welch, Les Hay, Unknown,
Pete Morton, with Ron Bennett seated

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The Fred Wyllie Band, with left to right, Fred Wyllie, Pete Morton, Ron Bennett,
Roger Welch, Les Hay, unknown seated.

Two photos above take at a holiday camp in Little Canada on the Isle of wight in the early 1960's

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The Fred Wyllie Band in 1960s on the Canberra

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HMS Dray Naval Band in the 1970's with Fred holding his sax top right


More recent photographs of Fred Wyllie with on piano, Mike Treend above and Stan Bennett below


Fred Wyllie's life story, 'In his own words'

The LIFE of Frederick Wyllie; RMB X 1061 Autobiography
I have been told that my Memory must be rather Unique: : ( Be that as it may 'though I have been reminded in later years by my Royal Marine Band ' colleagues; in a most friendly way that I was known to be a little absent minded at times ) Oh well so be it.but this Autobiography starts from the age of ONE or perhaps a little before that.
The 19th of February 1923; to George Alexander Wyllie and Mary FitzPatrick; (Mr and Mrs G.A. Wyllie) Me. Frederick; their fifth child; two Boys a Girl, two Boys. Among my very early recollections is :- In a large pram with the appropriate safety straps and just lerning how to stand up in the pram facing forward; as if captaining a large ship. This occasion was in SPRING HILL. Ventnor, I.O.W. England.My dear mother was providing the means of propulsion walking with a friend and, of course, chatting away probably about the cost of living, prices always rising-----potatoes now up to Twopence halfpenny a LB, tut tut tut..... We had just passed the BIJOU Cinema, a really magical place for me where I remember the thrilling moments while sitting on my mothers lap laughing at the antics of ;the then YOUNG Charlie Chaplin: or being so thrilled at watching a Young Boy, Jackie Coogan on horseback galloping at a thousand miles an hour and even being enthralled with the 'War Films of the day; : World War ONE of course. Those were the days of the Silent Films, and Black and White; though often Sepia toned.
A few more yards passed the Bishou and my Ship ( PRAM ) was bearing to PORT ( LEFT ) in to SPRING HILL ROAD; where I was born, in the Middle Room, above the shop and overlooking the street; and just opposite, Russel,s bycycle shop.
We were now passing ZUBERS delighted SWISS cake shop; Owned and Run by an equally delightful Swiss Family. My father,s Hairdressing business was just a few doors further up the road and on the opposite side. Mrs Zuber would often call in to see my Mother and, at times, ask for me as a playmate for her son; Waddy; we were both about the same age; and. Of course we were always invited to Waddy,s Birthday Parties whyich were quite ellaberate. Passing Zubers a few yards on, Channings Fruit and Veg. Shop Channings Son went to a Posh school but I forgive them for that because they were really nice genuine people. Then Russels Bycycle Sales and Repairs.Russels was right opposite my my fathers shop and very useful for me since they used to mend my little tricycle for free when ever it needed mending, which was quite frequent.
One tremendous event in the family sometime early in the century; at a time when I, the youngest in the family was Yet to be Born; there took place the Saga of a ship; the Tramp Steamer, ERRINGTON COURT: which was Adrift at sea for several weeks, with Engines broken down, Rudder and Radio Damage, . It was very Big News at the time with Daily Reports in all the big Newspapers and, I believe, Hourly reports on the Wireless Sets of the day. Not everyone in those days could afford to b ring up and educate Four or Five children; AND have a Wireless Set; tut..tut...tut; Oh dear..NO. We were one such family and my mother would make a daily visit to her very kindly friends who lived just a few houses further up the road; Mr; and Mrs Thatcher.
Now why would my mother have so much concern over This Event One May Ask?? The reason for her great concern..her Second Son :GEORGE: ( at that time aged about fourteen years) was a junior member of the Ships Company employed as Cabin Boy.
These were times between the two World Wars of the Terrible Depression; (though there was the odd Rolls Royce to be seen, even in a small area like the Isle of Wight] and when Countries were trying to recover from the devastating World War One with the terrible World War Two approaching to yet again, involve Loved One,s; Sons, Daughters, who would, about that time, be just the right age to be sent off to War and experience all it,s useless carnage and sadness.It was really quite common in those days to see veterans of WW1. ( known as The Great War ) who had given their services to the Country; many of whom had a Limb or Two missing; having to sell matches to light the cigarettes that they really could not afford to buy; just to get a few pennies to Live or avoid the Workhouse; - - -there was still the odd : Rolls Royce or Bentley : to be seen at times. My father, George Alexander Wyllie, though born in Manchester was infact of Scottish Lineage; he served in ' the East Surrey,s Regiment during WW1. And His father served for manyears in the renowned Scottish regiment; The Black Watch.
EARLY DAYS. My First day at School, aged Three; Infants Class. Introduced to the class by Infants Teacher, Miss Howlett' The school; St. Wilfreds Roman Catholic school,' High Street, Ventnor, I.O.W. England. The School rooms then were actually built adjoining the Church which in turn adjoined a rather quaint little cottage ; this was Miss Pardoe,s home; The Head Mistress. Miss Pardoe, as I remember governed the school with a sensible discipline and, like all good teachers of the times, with the right amount of kindness and understanding. I did not get into her class as the family left Ventnor to live in RYDE I.O.W. While I was still of the age to be in the Infants classes but I did pay her a visit quite a few years later after I had left school and, feeling very proud in my very smart Royal Marines Band uniform. [ by which time I had entered the R. M. Band service and was in my second year aged about Sixteen ] Miss Pardoe was of course retired by then but still living in that quaint little cottage adjoining the Church. I have often wondered what her real thoughts were then, for her former charges; pupils; mere infants on her first contact, Now approaching the right age to be sent off to be involved in the terrible World Conflict. However, : back to the Early Days.- - - - The first at School aged Three; Infants Class; Introduced to classmates by Infants Teacher, Miss Howlett. Miss Howlett was quite a Stern Teacher but, like them all, really quite a kindly lady. A few months on, Miss Howlett was off sick for about two weeks and was temporarily relieved by a young lady, ( probably a Student Teacher;) Miss Loveredge'' GEE.....What a Dish. Of course, I was almost immediately madly In Love; but then, realized that she was really quite old; about Eiteen or Nineteen. After about a month at school Every Child, every child had been thoroughly taught to write (or print) His or Her Full Name and Address [ a very sensible rule for Obvious Reasons ] and to recite the LORDS PRAYER.
VENTNOR CARNIVAL was quite a Renowned Yearly Event in those days' [ 1920's ] and my brother George always took part in this yearly occasion with other members of Club to which he was a member. This one year, the group entered as a bunch of gossiping women;some pushing prams with their babies, of variable ages. George, on this occasion, was one of the very young baby's and suitably clad in the appropriate baby clothes.
An important point for one to realize is that Parents of my generation were still, paradoxically,reeling from the aftermath of World One with another terrible World conflict looming in the not too distant future; and at the time when their Sons and Daughters coming of age to be involved the second aweful conflict of World War II.
These were times times of terrible depression and when Countries were trying to recover from the devastating World ONE and with the time of the terrible World War TWO approaching the right age ; to, yet again . To be sent of to war with all it's possible carnage; and sadness. It was really quite common in those days; in fact quite usual' between the wars, to have veterans of WW1 ''THE GREAT WAR'' perhaps with a Limb or Two; [ maybe even three] who had given their services to their Country' having to sell matches on Street Corners just to Eat; and perhaps light the cigarette that they could not really afford to buy to get a few pennies to avoid the Workhouse. ' Four years on ; I had now reached the age of Seven; the whole family moved to RYDE I.O.W. Running a business in those days for most people [ BUT NOT ALL] and bringing up a Family witth the Country still in deep depression must have been so very very difficult. No National Health Scheme in those days. There was no immediate vacancy in the local Catholic School at the time of our moving to RYDE and my dear Mother eventually found vacancies for my brother Bernard and myself in two Church of England schools; first in OAKFIELD SCHOOL situated in a district of the same name, and later to be a little nearer to home, TRINITY SCHOOL in Monkton Street, Ryde, I.O.W. Head Mistress- Miss Bennet and my class teach, Miss Marks. Very happy days spent in those schools and we made quite a few good friends.
The day eventually arrived when we were informed that the required vacancies had arrived for St Mary's Roman Catholic School; High Street. RYDE, I.O.W. St. Mary's ; a very good school indeed and teaching was thorough,; albeit, termed an Elementary School. Perhaps the term 'Elementary' was given to those schools whose childrens parents could not afford to send their children to Private Schools. These schools were free but; in my experience; non the less excellent in their Teachings Standards;; though,' I believe the subjects they were allowed to teach were considerably limited; if my memory serves me right, did not theywere unable to include foreign languages and Arithmetic up to a certain standard.
The Head Mistress . A Nun, MOTHER RYAN, and a lady of great Presence; strict and quite firm in the running of Her School, yet with a real gentleness of character, typical of many Elementary Schools of those days. St. Mary's School just Two Teaching Rooms, one for the infants and one a little larger to accommodate Class One to Seven. And a small Porch with the usual fitted wash basin and the appropriate hooks to hang our outer clothes on etc., very similar in fact to the facilities to those of St. Wilfreds, at Ventnor.
My School Days at St. MARY's Ryde came to completion in my Fourteenth Year, the School Leaving age at that time; [ and that was my age when I entered the 'Royal Marine Band Service'. [Sea Going] as a Band Boy; at the ''ROYAL NAVAL School of Music; DEAL, KENT. . . ... Now more appropriately named '' The ROYAL MARINES School of Music'' . Entry into the R.M. Band service at that time, first an Education Examination; usually consisting of a small amount of algebra and maths, '' never my strong point'', and', would you be believe; a Problem Solving chapter ' [in my paper, the problem being to work out the exact family relationship of a small group of people of varying sexes and ages, were to each other ] and a dictation paper. My application to enter the R.M. Band service was made while I was still finishing my last year at school, having already applied for entry into the R.M. Band service and the Education Exam Papers, quite heavily sealed, were sent to me with instructions to take them direct to the Head Master/Mistress of my school where, I was to sit for the Exam. The Head Mistress was, of course ofMOTHER RYAN so I knew there would be absolutely No Chance of a quick peep at the answer section there. I did quite well in that one; the Dictation paper; getting just One Word wrong;; the word was ''REPAST''. I believe means appertaining to Food', banqueting and such like; my spelling of the word was, ''REPASSED.'' The Colour Sergeant, EDUCATION DEPT.; Eastney barracks; Sgt Bates gave a little chuckle at this; I thought '' what a kindly gentle fellow he is, we were standing at a small desk at the time, Ieaned over slightly to get a better look at his marking of the papers; he immediately barked out "DONT LEAN" then, I am sure I detected just a very slight smile..... and, in a quite a gentle way, he said :- you will have to get used to Real Discipline when you get to DEAL on son. I knew then that I had passed the Educational Examination, the first hurdle. For entry into the R.M.B. The next hurdle would be,... the 'MEDICAL EXAMINATION.
Three weeks had passed and another sealed letter arrived to inform me that I was to travel to a Gosport Address the home of Mr and Mrs Boyce whose son David was also joining the R.M. Band service and he, the same age as me, and also having recently completed his Education Exam, and that we were to travel via Gosport Ferry to Portsmouth, then a short busride to Eastney Barracks, report to the Guard Room where we were escorted to the Sick Bay we were given a very throrough and stringent Medical Inspection which lasted quite a few hours. We were informed that if we both passed the Medical, we would be travelling to DEAL together would be informed of the travelling date in due course. I must mention here of the Lovely Welcome I received from Dave,s Mum and Dad on that day. Dave and I were really good friends right through the whole four years training at R.N.S of M. at DEAL. There is great sadness as I write here to say that Dave my Good Friend Dave, was killed in action very early in the war.

The big day arrived when I was to meet Dave at Portsmouth Harbour Railway Station and board the train on route to DEAL, Kent. On to Deal, we were joined by several more young lads at various stations and all about to become Sea Going Soldiers and Musicians of the Royal Marines Band Service.
We arrive at DEAL railway station late afternoon as the train is pulling in, we observed, at the entrance to the platform, a very smart military figure in the uniform of the Royal Marine Band .He was BILL GREASLEY. Bill was the Trained Soldier of the 'New Recruits Room situated just inside of the Side Gate of East Barracks, Deal. And very appropriately titled :R.1. Room. [ Recruits Room ] { Trained Soldier was a temporary Title to a senior Musician ' assisted by a Band Boy Section Leader, while placed in charge,: with a Band Corporal,: of the Band Boys barrack room. } It was, of course, quite a responsible position to be in the New Comers were all in their very early Teens many of them just turned Fourteen.
I already had quite a good start musically being a modestly capable young violinist taught by my father, who, himself was of a reasonably good standard, I was about Nine when I really put my mind to it . Dad had a way of making Practise really interesting work . He bought me a reasonably inexpensive violin three quarter size modelled on the great violin maker, '' Joseph Gunarious. I took my three quarter size violin to Deal with me there was, of course, no musical instruction for a long time after joining it was necessary to become really Fit and A Real Soldier. First and I have always been quite grateful to the Corp for that initial discipline and training in those early days.
New Recruits were formed into Squads . '' in the Band Service consisting of about twenty four Band Boys. When our little group arrived, there were just one or two members of No Fifty Nine Squad still in R.I. Room that squad was now complete and ready to to be put into Uniform, kitted out and prepared to start their initial training.
No 60 Squad was now being formed. As I remember those very early days in the R.I. Room, the first members to be forming Squad No 60 arrived in Deal one, or may be two weeks before . Our motley few arrived and still more were arriving at different times in the day and different days of the week/month. Eventually, the number of new comers reached twenty four which, I believe, was the amount of boys required to form a Training Squad and it was really then that we then that we began to learn what Real Discipline is all about. RECRUIT SQUAD No 60, RNSofM. DEAL, KENT. No 60 Squad then with young,'' Lyons '' Kirrane '' Law'', '' Tatham'' '' Boyce'' '' Wyllie'' ''Ireland'' ''Ogley'' ''Scott'' ''Beveridge'' ''Reese'' ''Kidd' ''Warren'' ''Hacket'' '' Keys'' ''Ingram'' were now ready to be Kitted Out put into our smart blue Uniforms [ which I believe were deliberately of a larger size to allow for growth, during those weeks of Training some of us increased our height by five inches in that time,] moved from R.I. Room to our various barrack rooms. Out of bed at 6am appropriate Ablutions, into P.T. Gear, on the parade ground for forty five minutes of Physical Exercise, back to your rooms, change for Breakfast, back to your rooms, change again this time for PARADE and INSPECTION, [ ah yes I Well Remember the INSPECTION part of the morning parade AND the Inspecting Officer each day.
Sublieutenant H......... Well::: A Band officer but was always the inspecting officer of the Band Boys Morning Parade . He nearly always found some fault with me, put me on the flank, which meant that I would be given an Extra Parade that evening in the Drill Shed of North Barracks which itself was about ten minutes walk/march from East Barracks . {this also seemed to happen on the Sunday Morning Church Parade when I was in the Boys Band ready to march the parade to Church. ] On some rather clever advice from the then C.S.M. I presented myself for these extra parade,s in exactly the same way as I did on each Morning Parade and not even touching my uniform in the meantime and ''would you believe'' Each time was highly recommended for smartness. There were just one or two other young lads who used to get the same treatment. The C.S.M. ( a Very Smart Soldier Himself quite strict but very fair) :: with a little touch of wisdom '':: took me out of the Boys Band and for Sundays Church Parade' I would be placed immediately outside the Gates of East Barracks prior to the whole parade lead by the Boys Band, returning from the Church. This duty was to enable a a clear entrance into the barracks. There was always a crowd of spectators just behind me at the gates of East Barracks, watching the parade as the band and parade wheeled left to enter and march on to the Parade Ground for a finale performance of Band Drill and Music. As the rear of the parade entered the public were allowed to follow in and watch the finale performance of the Band Drill and Music. It was ''a disguised'' enormous compliment really to be given this duty as of course, being right in front of the public, it was essential to particularly well turned out and Smart in Dress and Stature. Yes, I have retained very great respect for C.S.M. LANG. He very deservedly attained Officer Rank All in all: . .those Band Boy years were a n exeptionally good start and training and Character Buillding for adult life.

1945, The War in Europe ended ' Germany defeated and the year of my arrival back in U.K. on the Battle Ship H.M.S. VALIANT. {The Valiants episode at the end of the war is its difficulties incurred at TRINCOMALIE, a PORT in what was then, CEYLON and was often reffered to as our SCAPA FLOW of the FAR EAST. .} our to return home to England could require a book of its own .
. The School of Music in 1945 was by then at Scarborough and occupied two Hotels Norbreck and Clifton Norbreck at the top of a slightly sloping hill and Clifton at the lower end. The short time I spent at Scarborough was a really happy time for old timers, ( I had by then reached the age of Twenty Two years The War in Europe had not long been over and the War with Japan was still raging THE Band selected to Tour Defeated Germany.
During my particularly happy days at Scarborough, A Royal Marines Band was required from what was then, the R.N . School of Music at Scarborough. to tour several cities in Western Germany quite a large band was formed from selected experienced musicians.

Institution: "26th Brig Dep (Inft) Normanton Derby” Census Place: Normanton, Derby
Source: FHL Film 1341810 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 3388 Folio 95 Page 2 1881 census

NameMarr Age Sex Birthplace
Andrew WYLIE M 35 M Scotland Rel: Head Occ: Sgt Major 26 Br Depot (Infantry) (Soldier))
Anna Maria WYLIE M 30 F Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England Rel: Wife Occ: Soldiers Wife
Ethel Maria WYLIE 3 F Normanton, Derby, England Rel: Dau
George Alexander WYLIE 1 M Normanton, Derby, England Rel: Son

Births Sep 1879 Wyllie George Alexander Medway 2a 552
The district Medway is in the county of Kent

Marriages Mar 1904 Wyllie George Alexander W. Derby 8b 6[98]8
19th of February 1923 to George Alexander Wyllie and Mary FitzPatrick

Births Sep 1920 Wyllie Bernard Fitzpatrick I.Wight 2b 1265
Births Jun 1923 Wyllie Frederick Fitzpatrick I.Wight 2b 1052

Sadly Fred died age 94 at Waterlooville on December 17th 2017.

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