Person Male Born 27/12/1871 Died 3/8/1932
From Historic England: Engineer and architect to the Chiswick Urban District Council in 1921. Also designed the Memorial Fund's Chiswick War Memorial Rest Homes, Burlington Lane. Housing disabled servicemen, these were completed in the same year.
Andrew Behan has researched Willis: Edward Willis was born on 27 December 1871 in Thames Side, Windsor, Berkshire, the youngest of the seven children of William Willis and Emma Willis née Batt. His father was a Wheelwright & Coachbuilder. His father died on 18 July 1875 and the 1881 census shows Edward Willis living with his widowed mother and four of his siblings at 125 High Street, Eton, Berkshire. He was educated at St Mark's School, Windsor, later to become the Royal United Services College. By the time of the 1891 census the family had moved to 124 High Street, Eton and his occupation was shown as an Architect's Pupil and he was articled to Walter Summerbell, an architect in Windsor.
In 1895 he married Louisa Tucknott in Brighton, Sussex and on 9 November 1897 he was initiated into Freemasonry in the Windsor Castle Lodge No.771 at the Masonic Hall, Church Lane, Windsor. He gave his address as 21 Cornwall Gardens, Willesden and his occupation as Architect. He resigned from this Lodge when he joined the Willesden Lodge No. 2489 on 19 February 1900, giving his address as 293 Willesden Lane, Willesden Green and his occupation as a Civil Engineer. This Lodge held its meetings at St Andrew's School, High Road, Willesden Green.
The 1901 census shows him with his wife, his daughter Constance Muriel Willis and his son Edward Rowland Willis at 293 Willesden Lane, Willesden Green, together with a Lily Kitson (remember the name) who was employed as a Mother's Help & Domestic Servant. His occupation was given as an Architect, Surveyor & Civil Engineer. By the time of the 1911 census he and his family of three daughters and one son had moved to 3 Chiswick Lane, Chiswick and they had two servants, including the one who had been at their Willesden address and who was now recorded as Lillie Louisa Kitson.
On 4 February 1915 he was admitted to the Freedom of the City of London by Redemption giving his addresses as both 3 Chiswick Lane and Chiswick Town Hall where he was at first an Assistant, then the Chief Engineer and Surveyor at Chiswick Urban District Council. He was subsequently appointed as Architect to the Education Committee. When his son enlisted in the 52nd Battalion of The Rifle Brigade in May 1918, their address was now given as 1 Chiswick Lane.
During World War One he was an Assistant Commandant of the 47th Middlesex Voluntary Aid Detachment where he was an owner motor driver for the transport of wounded soldiers and he was also an Assistant Commandant of the Chiswick Red Cross. Together with 23 other freemasons he petitioned the United Grand Lodge of England to form a new lodge and a warrant was granted on 27 January 1919 to enable the Municipal and County Engineers Lodge No.3920 to be consecrated on 4 April 1919. They initially held their meetings at Mark Masons' Hall, 64-65 Great Queen Street, Holborn but in 1923 moved to Freemasons' Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, Holborn.
Lillie Louisa Kitson passed the Examination of the Central Midwives Board and was enrolled as a midwife on 10 November 1919.
Both the 1921 war memorial on Turnham Green at the junction of Chiswick High Road and Heathfield Terrace and the Chiswick War Memorial Rest Homes in Burlington Lane, Chiswick were designed by him when he was the Engineer and Architect to Chiswick U.D.C. He resigned from the Willesdon Lodge No.2489 on 22 January 1922.
His wife died on 26 April 1924 at their home at 1 Chiswick Lane and he was granted probate and her estate totalled £1,053-16s-0d. On 28 January 1928 he married Lillie Louisa Kitson, the woman who had been a servant to the family for at least 27 years, at St Peter's Church, Upton Lane, Upton Cross, Newham. He was the president of the Town Planning Institute, (now known as the Royal Town Planning Institute), for the year 1928. Probate records show he died, aged 60 years, on 3 August 1932, at his home at 101 Gunnersbury Avenue, Ealing. Probate was granted to his widow and son and his effects totalled £8,442-4s-5d.