William Rimmer

William Rimmer   Conductor / Composer / Arranger

William Rimmer was born in Birkdale, Southport in 1862 (1861 in some listings).

His father had been a bandmaster with the 3rd Volunteer Brigade, King’s Liverpool Regiment.

At the age of 15 William started as a Side-Drummer with the Southport Rifle band where he eventually became the third Cornet player, Second Cornet, Repiano and finally Solo Cornet. From Southport he went on to play with Besses O’th barn, Kingston Mills and Heywood Rifles.

By 1890 William was starting on his conducting career, coaching Wingates and Irwell Springs.

At the start of the 1900’s William was becoming a big name in the brass band world and had become the Music editor of “Richardson’s Cornet Brass and Military Band Journal”.

His composing also brought his name to the fore with “The Cossack” (written for Fodens) and “Slaidburn” (for Wingates). However, he also wrote under a number of pseudonyms including F. Le Due, Michael Laurent, Kenneth Henschel, Carl Hessler and Heather Dene.

In 1902 William Joined Fodens in Sandbach.

In 1909 William Rimmer decided to retire from contests to concentrate on the Southport Municipal Military Band a group of musicians hired by Southport Corporation for the Summer Season to play each morning and evening between May and December.

While in Southport William also conducted the Southport Orchestral Society and ensemble along with being a member of the Southport Musical Festival executive committee. 

In 1913 after dropping his Southport commitments William joined “Wright and Round” (Music Publishers) in Liverpool, where he edited their magazine.

After the first “Great War” Rimmer returned to conducting bands with the Southport Corporation Military Band for two years.

Over the years William Rimmer helped a number of bands to success in various competitions and performances. (See list below)

In February 1936 William attended the Southport Tabernacle Orchestra’s concert making his final appearance with the William Rimmer composition “The Last Goodbye”. On the 9 February 1936 William Rimmer died unexpectedly. His funeral took place on the 12 February at the Baptist Tabernacle, Southport with his internment at BirkdaleCemetery.

On the 31 March 1936 the BBC Broadcast a special tribute programme called “Homage to Rimmer” with music written or arranged by William Rimmer and the programmes was presented by John Henry Iles.

31 Mar 1936        BBC Manchester “Homage to Rimmer” (Paid £21) (see 3 Apr 1936) 

                                Taking part were Foden’s Motor Works Band led by Fred Mortimer with

                                Harry Mortimer on Principal Cornet, a quartet of players –

                                Clifton Jones (Cornet – Irwell Springs), Owen Bottomley (Cornet Black Dyke),

                                Fred Fletcher (Tenor Horn Wingates), and

                                Fred Appleby (EuphoniumHebdenBridge)

                                The broadcast was presented by John Henry Iles.

                                                1. March - Honest Toil

                                                2. Selection - Gems of Schubert

                                                3. Overture - Rule Britannia 

                                                4. Humouresque – The Costers Wedding

                                                5. Quartet – Mountain Breezes

                                                6. Selection – Erotica

                                                7. Hymn – Memories

3 Apr 1936            BBC Manchester “Homage to Rimmer” (Paid £21) (see 31 Mar 1936) 

                                (Two Programmes presented “Live” in tribute to William Rimmer).


(Information from Brass Bands by Arthur R. Taylor ISBN 0246 11082 1 -1979)



                The Australasian


                Black Knight

                The Bostonian

                The British Flag

                The Carnival King

                Chiming Bells (About 1900)

                The Comet

                The Cossack (Fodens Signature Tune)

                Cross of Honour


                Dawn of Freedom

                Faith and Free

                For Freedom and Honour

                Hailstorm (Cornet Solo)

                Honest Toil

                Kings of the Air

                Jack O’ The Lantern

                Knight of the Road


                MilitaryChurch Parade

                North Star



                Sergeants of the Guard

                Silver Showers (Cornet Solo)


                Son’s of Victory

                Victor’s Return

                The Virtuoso

                Viva Birkinshaw (Tribute to a Black Dyke Cornettist)

                Weber’s Last Waltz (Solo Euphonium)

                The Wizard


                The Bohemian Girl (Balfe)

                Cleopatra (Cornet Solo) (Written by Damare) 

                Rule Britannia Overture (Thomas Augustine Arne .b. 1710 .D. 1778) 


                The Bells of St Malo

                The Coster’s Wooing

                Southport Belles (March)

                A Tarantella (For Piccolo and Orchestra)

                Wedding Bells (Gavotte)


LIST OF PSEUDONYMS (Names composed under)

Sydney Dacre

E Damare

E Le Duc

F Le Duc

Heather Dene

Hiram Eden

Oliver Hertzer

Kenneth Henschall

Carl Hessler

H Holloway

Michael Laurent

E Morton (Not E Moreton which is Harry Mortimer)

W Raymond

Wilton Roche

Adrian Rolfe

W Royle

Karl Somers

Eric Walton

C Zadoc


Eugene Verner



Black Dyke Mills

Broxburn Public

Crooke (Wigan)

Earlstown Viaduct

Eccleston (Chorley)

Fodens Motor Works (1905-)

Freckleton Subscription

Gossage Soap works (Widnes)


Irwell Bank (Farnworth)

Irwell Springs (Bacup)

Kingston Mills (Hyde)

Kings Cross Subscription (Halifax) 

Lee Mount (Halifax)


Pemberton Old (Wigan)

Pendleton Old

Rochdale Public

Rushton Temperance

Shaw (Oldham)

Standish Subscription

Wingates Temperance (Westhughton)

Wyke Temperance


Stewart Green

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