1. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.139
2. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour33A GQS

Awards & Titles:


Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry 

Action : Natural Causes 

Natural causes is attributed those deaths due to causes that were not directly associated with the war. Included in this are wartime deaths resulting from, for example, theSpanish Influenza pandemic and its associated pneumonia problems and other attributions such as age and exhaustion. It also groups those who through Post Traumatic Stress committed suicide as a result of their experiences.

Detail :

Samuel Adam Friendship Willing who was baptised on 12th July 1857 at Hooe, Plymouth, was the son of William and Jane Willing (nee Roberts). Samuel married Sarah Jane Maker in 1882 at Plymouth.

Samuel's short service attestation record shows he enlisted in the army at the 35th Brigade Depot, aged 19, at Bodmin on 12th June 1877, and served with the 1st Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry in England, serving twelve years, initially for six years with the colours, but he may have re-engaged for a further six, or served with the reserve). His regimental number was 662. He was promoted to Lance-corporal in 1879, Corporal in June 1881 and Lance-serjeant by December 1881.

The following year Samuel married Sarah Jane Maker in 1882 at Plymouth. Upon discharge from the D.C.L.I., he moved to Chester with family, becoming one of the warders at H.M. Prison Chester.. This was the military prison at Chester Castle. The 1891 census recorded he was a "Cook Warder" at a military prison living at Pyecroft Street, Chester. His family was Sarah Jane, wife, 30, born Bodmin; Florence, daughter, 8, born Bodmin; Nellie, daughter, 1, born Chester; Bessie Maker, sister-in-law, single, 21, dressmaker, born Bodmin.

In 1901, Samuel Willing had been promoted and was Chief Warder of H.M. Military Prison employed by the Government, at York Castle, Military Prison, Castlegate, York. His family moved with him and had an additional son, Victor Willing, 7, born at Chester. This was Victor May Willing born at Chester in 1893. On 20th December 1901 a daughter, Rita Annie Maker willing, was born at Walmgate, York. Walmgate is a street which can be seen from the Castle. In 1911, Samuel, Sarah Jane, and children Victor and Rita, moved again and were living in Gateshead at 112, Brighton Road. Samuel was now a foreman electric lamp trimmer with the North East Railway Company and son, Victor, an apprentice electrical engineer.

Samuel immediately answered the call and volunteered at the outbreak of war, enlisting and attesting (for 1 year's service with the Special Reserve) on 6th October 1914 at Bodmin. He was, by now, 57 years old and employed as a groom. He was accepted for service only at Home and remained with the Depot of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry which was based at Bodmin.

He was a Private, Service No. 3/6277, attached to the 3rd (depot) Battalion D.C.L.I. which was at Bodmin in peacetime, moving to Falmouth in August 1914 and to Freshwater, Isle of Wight from May 1915. He appears to have been employed as an RP - Regimental Police - sergeant responsible for discipline within the Battalion. His record showed he suffered from rheumatism and was "over age", but nonetheless he was described as a well-conducted NCO, honest, sober and trustworthy.

His wife, Sarah Jane Willing, died at Bodmin on 20th October 1915, aged 55.
Samuel, then aged 58, married again, to Mary Bolt, a spinster, age 47, at Kendal, Westmoreland on 5th August 1916. The address for Mary on his service record is 12 Robartes Road, Bodmin, during the war.

Samuel remained with the D.C.L.I. until he was medically discharged (no longer fit for war service under Kings Regulations) on 7th March 1918 after suffering rheumatism and being overage, that by virtue of a legal act passed in 1917. The rheumatism is stated to be brought on by exposure during his duty as a Police Sergeant. He had completed a further 3 years 153 days military service and was awarded a disablement pension. He was described as looking older than he was when he was aged 61. He was awarded the Silver War Badge for being discharged during the war on medical grounds.

Samuel Willing, a gardener, of Sunnyhome, Wattsfield, Kendal, died at Kendal on November 1st 1918 aged 61. The Register of Soldiers Effects stated he died after discharge from the Army.
His youngest daughter, Rita Annie Maker willing married at Kendal to Alfred G Walker in 1931.
His son, Victor May willing, became an electrical engineer. He served in the Royal Engineers during the war and returned to electrical engineering in peacetime. His second wife and widow, Mary, died in South Westmoreland in quarter three 1952, aged 83.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Agricola No. 1991 E.C.Yorkshire (North & East Ridings)

24th July 1903
24th August 1903
28th September 1903

Samuel was initiated at York, into Agricola Lodge in 1903. He remained a member and shows contribution all the way until 1914, where his war service is then recorded ended by the final annotation "Died. 1.1.18"

Source :

The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2019-08-15 06:44:24