Herbert Edward Willis

Date of birth:                     1887
Place of birth:                    Ringwood, Hampshire
Service No.:                       242672
Rank:                                     Private
Regiment / Division:      Hampshire Regiment
Battalion:                             2nd Battalion
Died:                                      24th March 1918 aged 30 years
Death Location:                Belgium

Life before the War
Herbert was born in Ringwood, Hampshire in 1887 to parents William James and Hannah Ann, nee Farthing.  His father was born in 1858 and his mother in 1856, both in Salisbury, Wiltshire.  They had married on 24 December 1881 in Salisbury, Wiltshire.  Herbert had siblings William Charles R b. 1882 Salisbury, Rose Annie b. 1885 in Wimbledon, London and Mabel Kate b. 1890 in Southampton.

The family had settled in Southampton and by 1891 were living at 31 Albert Street, St Mary’s.  William James was a Locomotive Fireman with the London South Western Railway.

By 1901 they had moved to 10 Cable Street, St Mary’s.  William senior is now a Labourer; son William is a Shipping Clerk and daughter Rose a Dressmaker.

They moved again and in 1911 were living at 30 Cecil Avenue, Shirley.  William senior is shown as a Dock Labourer with the London South Western Railway, son Herbert is employed as a Cargo Measurer with the Union Castle Company at Southampton Docks and daughter Mabel was a Dressmaker.  Daughter Rose was living as a visitor at 104 Sultan Road, Landport, Portsmouth and was working as a Dressmaker.  Son William has now married to another Mabel and he, with his wife and children, are living at 57 Cecil Avenue, Shirley, Southampton.  He was employed as a Dock Clerk (checking goods from ship to railway).

Herbert’s brother, William Charles, also served in World War 1 and is mentioned in the National Roll of the Great War.
“Willis, W. C. R., Special War Worker
Throughout the period of hostilities he held a responsible post with the L. and S.W.R. Company having been employed by them for twenty five years.. he did much useful work as a checking clerk in the Chief Wharfinger’s Office, on duties in connection with the transport of meat and was fully exempt from all military service owing to the importance of his work.
57, Cecil Avenue, Shirley, Southampton”.

War Service
Herbert enlisted at Winchester, Hampshire, joining the Hampshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion as a Private. His service number was 242672.

He died from his wounds on 24 March 1918 aged 30 and is Remembered with Honour at the Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Belgium.

National Roll of the Great War
“Willis, H. E., Private, 2nd Hampshire Regiment
He joined in November 1916 and in the following April was drafted to the Western Front. There he took part in the Battle of Arras, Vimy Ridge, Ypres, St Quentin and Cambrai and was mentioned in Dispatches by Sir Douglas Haig for his gallant conduct at the last place. He was severely wounded in action at Ypres on March 24th 1918 and died shortly afterwards. He was entitled to the General Service and Victory Medals.
30, Cecil Avenue, Shirley, Southampton”.

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