bows by William R Retford

Son of William Charles Retford, b- 1899 – d- 1960, joined hills in 1919, known as “Young Bill” in the workshop. He was a very good all rounder but like Arthur Copleyhad he had little joy for the work. Withstanding this, his contribution to the workshop was “incalculable”. The BVMA book suggests he lost his hearing towards the end of his life and was tragically knocked down by a car yards from the Hills workshop. A close relative has written to us with the following correction.

“Dad did not die in an accident.” She remembers the situation as she has an excellent detailed memory. He and a colleague were walking back from Hill’s to home (Hanwell) for lunch. It was his colleague/friend who got hit by a bus. He died. She says that Dad never got over it. Billy died in 1960 due to illness.

He was deafened in service in WWI. She laughingly tells me that he was in the Medical Corps as something like a stretcher bearer / first aider; she says she does not know why as he had nil medical knowledge. “It was the guns sounds etc that damaged his hearing.” Ms Gertie Gustar.

His bows for Hill are stamped with two dots.

W E HILL & SONS W R Retford Violin

Violin Bow, Stamped W E HILL & SONS, silver mounted with a round stick the ivory frog with parisian eyes, by William R Retford. Weight 57.3 g

W E HILL & SONS, W R Retford c1910

W E HILL & SONS c1910 W R Retford, 60g

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