James Willett – son of James and Fanny Willett or ‘Aunt Fan’ Emily’s older sister.
The Willett surname was not familiar on first reading ‘Mapping our Anzacs’…. ANZAC day 2011, of course I recognised all the familiar Island names. Last week when I re checked the list…. suitably surprised when I realised the name James Willett, now a name connected to our family history. ‘Aunt Fan’ was a beautiful discovery entwined in Great Aunt Edie’s history just a few months ago, captivating and intriguing, twists and turns….. gazing back over our history. Reading James file I could see he signed up a few months before my Grandfather and George. I decided to visit the library ‘again’ to cast my eye over the Weekly Courier, indexed by Wendy Knowles, as I suspected Fanny probably placed James picture in the paper. I had a quiet bet with myself…… because George’s picture was in the paper – highly probable James would be as well, based on how close Emily and Fanny were. Initially looking over the index, couldn’t see his name, when about to give up saw “Willitt’ as per the AWM indexes.
Once home – exciting to find James in the Weekly Courier. go to 1916 – April 20 – insert 4. Here was ‘Aunt Fan’s handsome son, occupation, stone mason. I wonder if he had anything to do with his parents beautiful headstone, also Uncle, James Robinson, as they are quite similar.
Dad wasn’t really up with James going to war, he knew about Harold J Holt but not James – actually he did say ‘Jimmy Willett’, would love to hear more from his family. His mother Fan plays a very special part in the Robinson family history. Dad did say that his parents were best friends with the Willett’s and they used to visit them when over here in Launceston – they were his cousins and remembers the house was on a hill, maybe the top end of Brisbane St near the Gorge.