Herbert Willis (1891-1956) & the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Herbert William WILLIS (1891-1956) – Herbert became an apprentice painter at age 13. He migrated to Australia in 1909 at the urging of his brother, Harry. Worked as a painter for the NSW Transport Department, becoming a Foreman Painter on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Herbert belonged to a Masonic Lodge and had homes in the Blackheath and Carlton suburbs of Sydney. Herbert returned to England with his second wife, Esma, for a holiday in Folkestone where he planned to introduce her and the children to the family. Sadly he succumbed to his illness and died just 10 days before the birth of his son, David Herbert. His death was due to Lead Poisoning, accumulated in his body from the paint used on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. After cremation ashes were scattered in the rose garden at Hawkinge Cemetery, Folkestone.

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