James Augustus Willis (1865-?) – went to Australia and was never heard of again!

James Augustus WILLIS (1865 – c1931) – According to family legend, James “went to Australia when he was about 20 years old and was never heard of after that!”  Passenger lists show a James A Willis left London on 21 September 1886 and disembarked in Mackay in Queensland, Australia on 17 November that year. He was 22 years old and …

Herbert Willis (1891-1956) & the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Herbert William WILLIS (1891-1956) – Herbert became an apprentice painter at age 13. He migrated to Australia in 1909 at the urging of his brother, Harry. Worked as a painter for the NSW Transport Department, becoming a Foreman Painter on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Herbert belonged to a Masonic Lodge and had homes in the Blackheath and Carlton suburbs of …

Able Seaman Edward Willis …at the Battle of Trafalgar?

Edward WILLIS (abt 1778 – 1854) – Possibly the same Edward Willis listed as being present at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805, fighting under the command of Admiral Lord Nelson. Edward was aged 27 and an Able Seaman on board the HMS Dreadnought, although the records show he was born in Faversham. I have been unable to …

Archibald Willis (1895-?) – 1st Life Guards

Archibald F WILLIS (1895-?) – Archibald joined the 1st Life Guards at the outbreak of the First World War, rising through the ranks from Trooper to Corporal of Horse. Raised and educated in the village of Barham, school records there show he revisited the school in December 1912, June 1915, January 1917 and March 1918 to speak to the pupils.

Henry West (1856-1959) – ‘pushing all their worldly goods in a handcart’

Henry WEST (1856-1959) – Harry got a job at the rectory in Acrise as a gardener, probably because of connections with Sir Henry Oxenden’s brothers who were local vicars and his sister who was married to one of the Papillon family who owned the big house in Acrise. Harry and his wife, Mary, walked from Barham to Acrise (about 7 …