Ancestors of Mandy Willard

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Thomas William TULLETT (1891-1956)

and Annie Elsie STILLAWAY (1898-1985)


Thomas William Tullett and Annie Elsie Stillaway were my Grandparents.  (Click here to see their place in my pedigree chart.)  They married by banns on Wednesday 22 September 1920 in the parish church of St. Andrew in Portslade-by-Sea, Sussex.  He was a 29 year old bachelor and stoker of Ellen Street, Portslade.  She was a 22 year old spinster and domestic servant of St. Andrew's Road, Portslade.  The witnesses to their marriage were Edmund Tullett and Lily May Stillaway (brother of groom and sister of bride).


1920 Wedding Photo

-  22 September 1920  -

Back RowSamuel Tullett, [--?f--], Emma Charlotte Tullett nee Goble, Edmund Tullett, [--?f--], [--?f--], Lily Stillaway nee Dowlen, William Stillaway

SeatedIvy Tullett, [--?--], Thomas William Tullett, Annie Elsie Tullett nee Stillaway, [--?f--], [--?f--]

Floor:  [--?f--], Margaret Olive Stillaway


Thomas William Tullett was born on Friday 20 March 1891 at 9 Ellen Street, Portslade, Sussex.  He was baptised on 11 March 1903, along with other siblings, at St. Andrew, Portslade.  He was the eldest son and fourth child of Thomas William Tullett (1862-1911) and Emma Charlotte Goble (1863-1951).  The family story is that he ran away and joined the Navy whilst underage and spent WW1 on board ship in the China Seas.  According to his Naval papers he joined up on 9 March 1909 and then gave his date of birth of 20 March 1890.  He was discharged from the navy on 9 June 1921.  On joining up he gave his occupation as brickmaker and he was then 5 feet 8 inches tall with a chest measurement of 35 inches.  He was also then said to have had scars from old lumps, his hair was brown, eyes grey and of a medium complexion.  He joined on the same day as William Knowles, milkman, who was born on 12 July 1889 in Portslade.

Thomas served on/at the following:






9 March 1909

8 June 1909

Stoker second class


9 June 1909

23 June 1909

- " -


24 July 1909

30 September 1909

- " -

Victory II

1 October 1909

3 December 1909

- " -


4 December 1909

6 December 1909

- " -


7 December 1909

10 January 1910

- " -


14 January 1910


- " -


10 December 1910

25 May 1912



26 May 1912

10 July 1912

- " -

Victory II

11 July 1912

6 December 1912

- " -


7 December 1912

14 May 1913

- " -

Victory (2)

15 May 1912

30 June 1913

- " -


1 July 1913

12 September 1913

- " -


13 September 1913

30 November 1913

- " -


11 December 1913

7 March 1914

- " -


2 August 1914

9 December 1914

- " -

Victory II

10 December 1914

11 January 1915

- " - (21 days detention for absence)

Victory II

2 February 1915

8 June 1915

- " - (28 days detention for break away)

Victory II

6 July 1915

31 August 1915

Stoker first class


1 September 1915




25 October 1917


Acting Leading Stoker


25 April 1918

3 December 1918

Leading Stoker

Victory II

4 December 1918

2 January 1919



3 January 1919

20 August 1919


Victory II

9 April 1921

9 June 1921


Tom and Nance on their wedding dayAfter his time in the Navy, Tom spent most of his working life at the Electricity Works, Portslade, where he was at first a stoker and then an electrician.  He died on Christmas Day 1956 at Southlands Hospital, Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex and was buried in the Downsway Cemetery in Southwick, Sussex.  I have not yet found him in the 1911 census.

Annie Elsie Stillaway was born on Sunday 29 May 1898 at Broadmere in Henfield, Sussex.  She was the second daughter and third child of William Stillaway (1866-1939) and Lily Dowlen (1869-1949).  Her mother registered her birth on 30 June 1898 and her father was then a farm labourer.  She was also known as Nance.  Annie died on 10 November 1985 at 7 John Street, Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex and was buried along with her husband in Southwick.  (7 John Street was then a nursing home for the elderly.)  I last saw Nan, as she was known to me, 2 weeks before she died when my mum and I took her in her wheelchair to have her hair cut in the community centre in Shoreham town centre.  When the 1911 census was recorded she was 12 years old and at school.  She was then living with her parents in Beeding.  On 16 August 1919 Annie was a witness at the marriage of elder sister.


Thomas William Tullett and Annie Elsie Stillaway had 6 children:

  1. Gordon Tullett was born on 14 July 1921 and died on 21 August 2014.

    Gordon married Mabel Burleigh in 1945.

    Mabel (known as May) was born in 1926 in Northern Ireland and is the daughter of Andrew Burleigh.

    Gordon and May have 3 daughters, 2 sons, 5 grandsons and 2 granddaughters:

    1. Angela Tullett

    2. Kerry Tullett

    3. Robert Tullett

    4. Claire Tullett

    5. June Tullett

  2. Vera Irene Tullett, was born at 12.40am on  Monday 22 January 1923 at 37 Fishersgate Terrace in Fishersgate, Southwick.  She was a twin.  She died at 2.30am on Saturday 10 June 2006 at The Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, Sussex.  Vera was buried in the Downsway cemetery in Southwick at 1.30pm on Friday 16 June 2006, after a funeral service at St. Michael and All Angels in Southwick.

    Vera married Thomas Jack Knight on 14 August 1948 at St. Michael and All Angels, Southwick.  He was then a 30 year old farm labourer of Barnsfold Lane in Rudgwick and she was a 25 year old spinster of 12 Ridgeway Close in Southwick.  The witnesses to their marriage were Thomas William Tullett and James Arthur Knight.  They met in a cow shed during WW2 when Vera was working in the Land Army.

    Thomas Jack Knight, known as Jack, was born on 1 December 1917 in Rudgwick, Sussex.  He was the son of James Knight (1868-?) and Fanny Clark (c1879-?).  He died aged 91 years in his sleep at home on Friday 6 March 2009.

    Jack and Vera had 1 daughter, 3 sons and 3 grandsons:

    1. Sandra Knight

    2. Graham Knight

    3. Stephen Richard Knight (1953-1992)

    4. Trevor Knight

  3. Eileen Willard, nee Tullett, photo taken on 7 December 1940Eileen Isabel Tullett,  my mother, a twin.  She married my father Jesse Willard in 1950.  He is the son of William Charles Willard (1894-1948) and Bessie Warman (1900-1987).  They had 2 daughters, however, my elder sister Maureen Willard died 10 minutes after her birth on 2 November 1956.  I have no children, so they have no grandchildren.

    1. Mandy Willard

    The story goes... my grandmother was beginning to think my mum wouldn't find a boyfriend and thus settle down and get married.  So Nan (as she was known to me) sussed out the local lads and chose my dad.  She invited him to tea to meet my mum, although they already knew one another and my mum though my dad to be a bighead!  But love blossomed and they have been together ever since.  So Nan got it right.

    During WW2 my mother was in the Land Army and my father away in the Army.  On 24 March 1945 he sent a post card to her acknowledging receipt of her letter to him.  Dad addressed the card, c/o Mrs. Warren, "Mrytle Cottage" S'field, near Crawley, Sussex.

  4. Kenneth Noel Tullett, a twin to Den, married Mary Rouse in 1950, and they have 2 sons, 1 daughter, 4 grandsons and 2 granddaughters:

    1. Christopher Tullett

    2. Michael Tullett

    3. Mary Anne Tullett

    Ken and Mary

  5. Denis Noel Tullett, known as Den, was a twin to Ken.  He was born on 25 December 1927 in Fishersgate and baptised on 27 April 1929 in Southwick.  He died on Sunday 14 August 2011 and his funeral service took place on Thursday 25 August 2011 at the Worthing crematorium.

    Den married Violet Lucy Gathern on 12 July 1952 at St. Michael and All Angels in Southwick.  He was then a 24 years old bachelor and sheet metal worker of 12 Ridgeway Close, Southwick.  Vi was a 23 year old spinster of 10 Ridgeway Close.  The witnesses to their marriage were William Bashford and Annie Elsie Tullett.

    The Tullett and Gathern families move to Ridgeway Close in about 1939.  Previously the Gatherns had lived in The Gardens, Southwick, near my Dad's family.

    Violet Lucy Gathern (known as Vi) was born on 5 December 1928 in Southwick.  She died on 25 November 1999 and her funeral service was held on 3 December 1999 at the Worthing crematorium.  Vi was the daughter of David William Gathern (1895-1953) and Violet Beatrice Bashford (1894-1968).

    Den and Vi had 3 sons, 3 grandsons, 1 granddaughter and 1 great granddaughter:

    1. Andrew Tullett

    2. David Tullett

    3. Jeremy Tullett

  6. Barbara Olive Tullett was born in 1929.  She is generally known as Babs.

    Babs married Norman Robinson in 1953.

    Babs and Rob on their wedding day

    Norman Robinson (known as Rob) was born in 1924.  He is the son of Norman Robinson (1889-1951) and Helen Josephine Balcombe (1893-1957).

    Babs and Rob have 1 daughter and 1 granddaughter:

    1. Jill Robinson


Emily - friend of Vera and Jack Jack - husband of Vera May - wife of Gordon Bo - husband of Mary Ann Gordon - son of Annie Elsie Rob - husband of Babs Den - son of Annie Elsie My Mum, Eileen - daughter of Annie Elsie My Dad, Jesse - husband of Eileen Babs - daughter of Annie Elsie Vera - daughter of Annie Elsie Ken - son of Annie Elsie Mary Ann - daughter of Ken Ernie - friend of Annie Elsie's Jill - daughter of Babs Vi - wife of Den Me, Mandy - daughter of Eileen

Annie Elsie surrounded by some of her family on her 80th birthday

(Hover the cursor over the faces for names.)

Brothers and Sisters

left to rightBabs, Den, Vera, Ken, Eileen and Gordon


1891 Census - 9 Ellen Street, Portslade, Sussex (RG12/823, folio 46, page 14)

Thomas W. Tullett, Head, M, 29, Labourer, born Sussex, Cuckfield

Emma Tullett, Wife, M, 28, born Fareham

Sarah A. Tullett, Daur, 4, born Sussex, Portslade

Lydia Tullett, Daur, 2, born Sussex, Portslade

Thomas W. Tullett, Son, 2 weeks, born Sussex, Portslade


1901 Census - 14 Ellen Street, Portslade, Sussex (RG13/943, folio 82, page 22)

Thomas W. Tullett, Head, M, 39, General Labourer, Worker, born Sussex, Cuckfield

Emma Tullett, Wife, M, 37, born Hampshire, Fareham

Lydia Tullett, Daur, 12, born Sussex, Portslade

Thomas W. Tullett, Son, 10, born Sussex, Portslade

David H. Tullett, Son, 8, born Sussex, Portslade

Daisy I. Tullett, Daur, 3, born Sussex, Portslade

Edmund Tullett, Son, 1, born Sussex, Portslade


1901 Census - 10 Castletown, Upper Beeding, Sussex, (RG13/947, folio 13, page 18)

William Stillaway, Head, M, 34, Labourer in Cement Works, born Sussex, Henfield

Lily Stillaway, Wife, M, 31, born Sussex, Henfield

Susan Stillaway, Daur, 7, born Sussex, Henfield

continued over the page (RG13/947, folio 14, page 19)

William Stillaway, Son, 5, born Sussex, Henfield

Annie Stillaway, Daur, 2, born Sussex, Henfield

Thomas Hards, Boarder, 25, Labourer in Cement Works, Worker, born Sussex, Henfield


1911 Census - Beeding, Sussex (RG14PN5228 RG78PN231 RD80 SD4 ED2 SN72) Enumeration district 2 (transcript)

William Stillaway, Head, Married, M, 43, General Labourer, born Henfield, Sussex

Lily Stillaway, Wife, Married, years married 10, F, 41, born Henfield, Sussex

William Stillaway, Son, M, 15, Farm Work General, born Henfield, Sussex

Annie Stillaway, Daughter, F, 12, School, born Henfield, Sussex

Lily Stillaway, Daughter, F, 10, School, born Beeding, Sussex

Margaret Stillaway, Daughter, F, 4, bonr Beeding, Sussex

Samuel Browning, Boarder, Single, M, 22, Farm Work, born Henfield, Sussex


I viewed the following transcript in error, whilst trying to find my grandfather:

1911 Census - 36 Herbert Road, Preston, Brighton (RG14PN5159 RG78PN228 RD80 SD1 ED7 SN403) Enumeration District 7 (transcript)

Rosa Louisa Tullett, Head, Widow, F, 45, Lodging House Keeper, born Brighton, Sussex

Frederick Tullett, M, 21, Omnibus Conductor, born Patcham, Sussex

Thomas Tullett, M, 19, Florist, born Patcham, Sussex

Herbert Tullett, M, 17, Florist, born Patcham, Sussex



This page was updated on 22 August 2014