1935 - 2014

President of the Society 2009

John was born in Ely, Cardiff in 1935 and was very proud of the fact that he was taught at Herbert Thompson Elementary School. His career started at Cardiff Docks in 1950 at the age of fifteen when he spent 5 years with Cory Brothers and then 20 years with T.T. Pascoe Ltd. In 1960 he became a Fellow of the Institute of Freight Forwarders and in 1964 an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.

In 1975 he joined Bearcat Tyres and was with them for 14 years as European Shipping Manager. Following this, in 1989, he became Shipping Manager with Watts Industrial Tyres Ltd of Lydney. Whilst engaged in these positions John travelled extensively and it is interesting to note that on his retirement, in 2004, Watts Tyres were the third largest Industrial Tyre Company in the world with annually exported products valued at £12 million pounds over 80 countries Worldwide. One could possibly surmise therefore that considering his early start. John enjoyed a successful business life that he earned and deserved.

John had a strong interest in running and over the years completed 10 marathons in Cardiff, London and New York, achieving times of under three hours on four occasions. It appears that he had a Lambretta as his honeymoon was spent riding one with his wife June. They toured France, entered Switzerland over the Simplon Pass followed by Italy and then back into France before making for home.

He had a strong feeling for the history and tradition of the DCOP with a spell as Hon. Secretary and a membership of some 50 years.

John had experienced only two years of retirement when in June 2006, whilst his wife was away visiting family, neighbours found him collapsed on the floor. He was moved to Llandough Hospital where he was diagnosed with septicaemia. He remained in a coma for five weeks. On waking, John was unable to move his arms or legs and he continued to be nursed in the Intensive Care Unit undergoing physiotherapy throughout August. Still on his back, he was transferred to Rookwood Hospital in September and following extensive treatment,eventually returned home on crutches at the end of April 2007.

Whilst in Rookwood he was given a laptop computer by his old colleagues at Watts Tyres , which brought a string of good wishes from all over the world. This, and the frequent visits of wife, family, friends and those of the shipping fraternity, provided the support he so much needed.John continued to experience difficulties in walking and did not enjoy the best of health over his remaining eight years, but his courage, fortitude and determination to overcome his condition, with good humour and without complaint, amazed those of us who knew him. His was a full, lovinglife. He was a remarkable man and it was a great pleasure to know him.

John Iles


F.I.F.F 1960

F.I.F.F 1960

A.I.C.S. 1964