Ancestors of Mandy Willard

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William Charles WILLARD (1894-1948)

and Bessie WARMAN (1900-1987)


William Charles Willard and Bessie Warman were my Grandparents.  (Click here to see their place in my pedigree chart.)  They married by banns on Monday 27 December 1920 at the Parish Church of St. Michael and All Angels in Southwick, Sussex.  At the time Bill was a 26 year old bachelor and a gas works labourer.  Bessie was a 20 year old spinster.  They were both of 19 Ada Terrace, Southwick.  Bill's father's occupation was recorded as gas stoker.  Bessie's father was deceased.  The witnesses to their marriage were Frank George Davis and Frederick John Warman.


1920 marriage of William Charles and Bessie Warman

Back row:  Frederick John Warman, Flora Warman (nee Boorman), Clement Willard, Annie Willard (nee Back), Laura Willard (nee Stredwick)

Front row:  Violet May Warman, William Charles Willard, Bessie Willard (nee Warman) Dorothy Grace Warman


William Charles Willard was born on Sunday 4 March 1894 at 39 Abinger Road, Portslade, Sussex.  He was the second son of William Charles Willard (1866-1950) and Annie Back (1871-1935).  (His elder brother died as an infant.)  At the time of his birth his father was a gas stoker.  He was baptised at the parish church of St. Andrews, Portslade-by-Sea on 3 June 1894 and baptism register noted his father was a labourer.  He was generally known as Bill.

When the 1911 census was recorded William was a 17 year old golf caddy and he was living with his mother at 4 Annes Place, Southwick.  My Aunt (Bill's daughter) remembers her dad saying in about 1938 he had caddied for Max Miller, but did he?  In 1911 Harry Sargent was also a 17 year old caddy and living in Hove.  In about 1921 Harry adopted the name Max Miller.  Might William have caddied with Harry, rather than for Max?  My dad doesn't remember his dad saying anything about being a caddy.

During WW1 Bill was in the Army and was gassed twice.  For most of his working life he was a gas works labourer.  My dad tells me that in the about the late 1930's early 1940's, my grandfather was earning 2 a week.  His job was then to unload the last of coal from the the hold of the ships which were delivering to the gas works.  My grandfather suffered badly from a bad back.  He died on 23 June 1948 at his home, 67 Ridgeway, Southwick, and was buried in the Downsway Cemetery, Southwick.  The night before, Bill and Bess had had a night out in Brighton, when they got home, Bess went upstairs to bed and Bill fell asleep downstairs in his chair.  In the morning my dad found his dad dead in his chair.  He shouted upstairs to his mum "I think dad's gone", to which she replied "gone where".

Bessie Warman was born on Thursday 25 January 1900 at 1 Pansy Cottages, River View, Portswood, Southampton, Hampshire.  She was the second daughter of Arthur Edward Warman (1872-1918) and Flora Boorman (1868-1952).  At the time of her birth her father was a painter journeyman.  She died on 2 January 1987 at Southlands Hospital, Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, and was buried on 13 January 1987 with her husband.

When the 1911 census was recorded Bessie was 11 years old and living with her parents at 71 Wellington Road, Portslade-by-Sea.  I'm told at some point she worked at the Greens cake mix factory and also a handbag factory.

I have Bessie's passport from 1965 in which she gives her height as 5'7" and eyes blue.  At the time she was living at 23 Highdown, Southwick, Sussex.


William Charles Willard and Bessie Warman had 6 children:

  1. Ivy and Jesse, photo probably taken towards the end of 1923Ivy Willard was born on Wednesday 8 June 1921 at 3 Seaford Road, Aldrington, Hove, Sussex.  Her father was then a gas works labourer.  She was baptised on 26 August 1921 in Southwick.  She died aged 70 years on Friday 13 March 1992 at Southlands Hospital, Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex.  She was buried with her husband in the Downsway cemetery in Southwick.  (I still miss her, she was a wonderful auntie.)

    Ivy and Steve on their wedding dayIvy married Stephen Patrick Nicolson on Saturday 22 September 1951 at the Register Office in Hove, Sussex.  At the time Steve was aged 43 years and a motor engineer of 375b Kingsway, Hove.  Ivy was a spinster aged 30 and of 67 Ridgeway, Southwick.  The witnesses to the marriage were Harold Willard and Fred Willard.  (Ivy's younger sister thinks they met whilst Ivy was working as barmaid in a pub near to where Steve lived.)

    Steve had previously married Eileen Caroline Harriett Barnard on Wednesday 31 August 1932, but this marriage ended in divorce.  She was born in the third quarter of 1907 in the Farnham district.

    There were no children from either marriage.

    Steve was born on Monday 31 August 1908 in Greenwich, London.  He was the son of Malcolm Sydney Nicolson (1865-1941) and Emma Jane Elphick (1871-1938).  His father was a butcher.  Steve died suddenly from a heart attack on Wednesday 12 October 1977 at their home, 89 Southwick Street, Southwick.  He was 69 years old.

  2. Jesse Willard, photo taken on 11 December 1939Jesse Willard, my father, was born on Saturday 24 February 1923 at 15 The Gardens, Southwick, which was later renumbered 30 The Gardens when new houses were built around about 1927.  He was baptised on 29 April 1923 in Southwick.  (Click here to see a photo of Jesse in 1934/5.)

    Jesse, Eileen and Mandy Willard on 13 April 1868He married my mother Eileen Isabel Tullett on 1 July 1950 at St. Michael and All Angels in Southwick.

    Eileen is the daughter of Thomas William Tullett (1891-1956) and Annie Elsie Stillaway (1898-1985).

    My parents had 2 daughters, however, my elder sister Maureen Willard, born 2 November 1956 at the Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, died 10 minutes after her birth.  Every year they buy a bunch of flowers in memory of Maureen and she has never been forgotten.  Her birth and death were not registered and my parents have no idea what happened to her, as the hospital just took her body away.

    I have no children, so they have no grandchildren.

    During WW2 my father joined the Army and went off with his father's advice "never volunteer".  This was the first time he had been away from home and also the first time he had had a bed to himself.  As a boy he shared a double bed with his 3 brothers and was put in charge of keeping them in order and if they misbehaved their dad would come in and belt them, and my dad reckons, being the eldest, he always came off worst.  After basic training in Wales he was assigned to the 52nd Lowland Division.  His army number was 14242260 and he was a driver.  Dad tells many a story about how he was put on a charge for being late back to camp, because the officers would get him to drive them into town and wait to take them back.  The penalty was spud peeling, and he reckoned he peeled more potatoes whilst in the army than he's done since, and he has always done the cooking in our household - my Mum was a hopeless cook and Dad a basic cook, but I survived.  After basic training he went to Scotland where he was stationed above a distillery in Duftown, although strangely he never developed the taste for Whisky, his tipple being the odd Manns brown ale or ginger wine.

    Jesse and Eileen Christmas Day 2008 - on their annual trip to the local pubDad started his working life at the age of 14 as a butcher's boy, for Stevenson's the Butcher, earning ten shillings and sixpence and a joint of meat a week, which my grandmother was very pleased to receive.  But after about a year he heard from a friend that he could earn more (3 per week) by working at the coal yard and so gave up what was said to be a very promising job.  He learnt to drive coal lorries, but didn't stick at it for long.  His dad got him a job at the Gas Works but he lasted there for less than a week, much to his dad's disappointment.  And then the war came along.

    Dad remembers that the local policeman in Southwick knew everyone and to which family the children belonged.  If he caught my dad or his brothers misbehaving he called them all young Bill and said he'd tell their dad on his way home from work.  Dad went to Southwick school on The Green, which has since been demolished and is now a housing estate.

    In the early 1950's my parents lived on a farm in Lechlade, Oxfordshire.  Dad was then a cattle stockman and often went off to shows looking after the cattle.  In early 1978 we went back to see where they had lived.  I was then learning to drive and dad let me drive all the way there and back from Shoreham-by-Sea, about a 250 mile round trip.

    My parents and I emigrated to Australia on the 10 ticket in 1966, but returned to Sussex in 1969, as dad missed his mum.  For awhile we lived with my uncle Harry in Granville in the suburbs of Sydney.  Dad then worked as a labourer on the Parramatta shopping centre, where he broke his leg.  We then moved to 71 Merthyr Road, New Farm, a suburb of Brisbane.  There dad worked in a nut factory and then a laundry.  Mum then worked in a pineapple factory.  My mum's younger sister and her husband and daughter also emigrated to Australia and lived a short walk away from us.  They also returned to Sussex and again they lived a short walk away - we all lived off Slonk Hill in Shoreham-by-Sea, us in Tottington Way and they in Truleigh Way.

    Mum and dad moved to Bexhill from Shoreham-by-Sea in March 1999 and now live 5 minutes walk away from me.

    On 10 July 2010 mum had a small stroke.  A couple of weeks later she fell and broke her left arm just above the wrist.  The stroke was at first diagnosed as an ear infection by an on-call doctor at about 8am.  I was despatched to get a prescription for antibiotics.  By lunch time that day she was feeling worst and a paramedic was called.  He did various tests and agreed with the doctor it was an ear infection and she was told just to rest.  A week or so later dad went to the doctor as his knees were very painful.  Whilst at the surgery their regular doctor asked how my mum was doing as he hadn't seen her for a while.  Dad explained what had happened and the doctor became very concerned as to him the symptoms sounded like a small stroke.  Mum was referred to the Conquest Hospital for a brain scan which confirmed the stroke.  The stroke left her very unsteady on her feet and one morning she tripped and fell whilst making the bed.  That was the day she was due at the local surgery for a blood test.  The nurse took one look at mum's wrist and told us to go straight to A&E at the Conquest.  We spent 7 hours there before her arm was set in a temporary plaster.  Over the next 3 months we had 1 or 2 appointments each week, either at the stroke clinic, fracture clinic or surgery for blood tests.  As at early December 2010 mum is much better than she was in August.  She can now walk small distances in doors unaided, although on the rare occasion she goes outside she uses a walking stick and I have hold of her left arm.  About the only time she goes out is for hospital and doctor appointments.

    On 25 November 2010 dad had his left knee replaced.  The operation was carried out at about 7pm at the Spire, next to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings.  During the night he was able to get himself out of bed and go to the bathroom (even though he had been told not to get out of bed without assistance) and the next morning the staff had him walking up and down the corridor.  I brought him home on the morning of Sunday 28 November, in heavy snow, with a bag of bits and pieces.  He had been shown how to clean and dress his wound and also how to inject himself once a day in the stomach.  He was also told he had to take painkillers 3 times a day, but dad being dad, thought after a couple of days he could do without the painkillers and was then in terrible pain during the night.  However, he didn't learn, as on Friday morning 3 December he yet again decided to go without painkillers, the result being he was in absolute agony on Friday afternoon.  Up until then I had been taking cooked meals down to them each day - dad has always done all the cooking and for the last few years all their grocery shopping.  But dad rebelled saying he could do his own cooking.  I took him out to the post office on Monday 6 December, a bitterly cold day, and he managed very well.  I took him home saying if he wanted anything he only had to phone me.  The next morning my mum phoned, very upset, as dad had taken himself out and caught the bus into Bexhill.  I went racing into town and found him, and told him to wait whilst I went got the car, but of course he didn't and he caught the bus home!  The staples holding his wound together came out on 9 December.

  3. Clement Willard was born on Wednesday 12 March 1924 at 15 The Gardens, Southwick, and baptised on 25 May 1924 at St. Michael and All Angles, Southwick.  He died aged 87 years at about 5am on Monday 19 September 2011 at the Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington, Hampshire.  His funeral took place at 2.15pm on Tuesday 27 September 2011 at the Bournemouth crematorium.  During WW2 he trained to be a pilot in the RAF, but unfortunately broke his back whilst training in the USA, although he did complete his training and gained his pilots wings.  In the 1960's he was a public health inspector in Bournemouth and after his retirement from the job in about 1974 he went to work for Butlins Holiday Camp in Bognor Regis, Sussex as a health and safety officer.

    For nearly 200 years there has been a Clement in the family, starting with Clement Willard (1813-1895), Clement Willard (1836-1863), Clement Willard (1875-?), Clement Willard (1898-1974), Clement Willard (1924-2011) and Clement Willard (1927-2004).

    Clem married Gladys Mabel Thompson in 1946.  They have 1 daughter, 3 grandsons and 1 great grandson.  Glad is the daughter of George Edward Thompson (c1900-1943) and Mabel Annie Mengham (1901-?).

  4. Harold Willard was born on Monday 30 November 1925 and baptised on 26 February 1928 at St. Michael and All Angels, Southwick.  He died aged 78 years on 3 August 2004 in Berry, NSW, Australia.  He was a carpenter.  During WW2 he was in the Navy.  Harold and his elder son came over to England in September and October 2002.

    Harry married Joyce Mary Nunn on 13 March 1948 at St. Michael's in Southwick.  The witnesses to the marriage were Hilda Blanche Nunn and William Charles Willard.

    Joy was born on 24 October 1927 in Brighton, Sussex and was the daughter of Nelson Edgar Nunn (1896-1970) and Hilda Blanche Ayling (1896-1980).  She died on 15 October 2001 in Australia.

    They had 3 sons (1 of whom was knocked off his bike and killed aged 16), 4 granddaughters and 1 grandson.



    Four Generations


    Harold Willard (1925-2004)

    Flora Warman, nee Boorman (1868-1952)

    Bryan Willard (1950-1966)

    Bessie Willard, nee Warman (1900-1987)


  5. Anne Willard married Ken Scott.  The have 2 sons and 1 granddaughter.  Anne also married Ken Williams (1918-1991).

  6. Frederick Willard was born on 26 December 1929 at 30 The Gardens, Southwick.  After his birth both he and his mother nearly died and both spent 3 months in hospital.  We don't know, or it has been forgetton why, but, my dad's blood group is AB negative, so we suspect the problem was something to do with positive and negative blood.

    Fred died on the afternoon of Sunday 23 October 2011 at home in Worthing, Sussex.  He had been in poor health for some months and was undergoing treatment for throat cancer.  My dad had spoken to him on the phone in the morning and thought he sounded a bit brighter.  Fred's funeral took place at midday on Thursday 10 November 2011 at Worthing cematorium.

    Fred married Margaret R. Harris.  They have 1 son and 2 daughters, 4 granddaughters and 3 grandsons.

    Margaret is the daughter of William Harris (?-2007) and Rose Bourner (1914-2002).



1901 Census - 1 Old Shoreham Road, Portslade-by-Sea, Sussex (RG13/943, folio 5, page 1)

William C. Willard, Head, M, 34, Bricklayers Labourer, Worker, born Sussex, Portslade

Annie Willard, Wife, M, 29, Forewoman Laundry, Worker, born Sussex, Brighton

William C. Willard, Son, 7, born Sussex, Portslade

Clement Willard, Son, 3, born Sussex, Portslade


1901 Census - 85 Coleridge Street, Aldrington, Hove, Sussex (RG13/939, folio 32, page 3)

Arthur E. Warman, Head, M, 28, House Painter & Paper Hanger, Worker, born Berks, Beenham

Flora Warman, Wife, M, 32, born Sussex, Wadhurst

Bessie Warman, Daur, 1, born Hants, Southampton


1911 Census - 4 Annes Place, Southwick, Sussex (RG14PN5211 RG78PN230 SD3 ED8 SN158) Enumeration District 8 (transcript)

Annie Willard, Wife, Married, F, 40, Laundry Forewoman, born Brighton, Sussex

William Charles Willard, Son, Single, M, 17, Golf Caddy, born Portslade, Sussex


1911 Census - 71 Wellington Road, Portslade-by-Sea, Sussex (RG14PN5209 RG78PN230 RD80 SD3 ED6 SN109) Enumeration District 6 (transcript)

Arthur Edward Warman, Head, Married, M, 38, House Painter, born Beenham, Berkshire

Flora Warman, Wife, Married, years married 15, F, 42, born Wadhurst, Sussex

Bessie Warman, Daughter, F, 11, born Southampton, Hampshire

Frederick John Warman, Son, M, 9, born Brighton, Sussex

Dorothy Grace Warman, Daughter, F, 5, born Brighton, Sussex


For more information about Max Miller please visit the Max Miller Appreciation Society website.

Max was born Thomas Henry Sargent on 21 November 1894 in Hereford Street, Brighton, Sussex and and died on 7 May 1963 at 25 Burlington Street, Brighton.  He was the son of James Sargent and Alice West.  His grandparents were Henry Sargent and Clara Snatt, and Joseph West and Isobel Jane Savage.  Clara's parents were John Snatt and Henrietta Carter.  Joseph's parents were James West and Mary Ann Greenfield.



This page was updated on 23 April 2013