Further to the earlier post about G.S.V. Wills, I am posting a few photographs from his self-published work, The Works of George S. V. Wills and The Westminster College of Chemistry and Pharmacy (dated February 14, 1899). (Note: the initials G.S.V. stand for George Sampson Valentine; George for his grandfather George Wills, Sampson for his great grandfather Sampson Wills, and Valentine because he was born on Valentine’s Day.) According to his preface, the occasion for writing the book was four-fold: he was about to celebrate “his Jubilee Birthday, his Silver Wedding Anniversary, the coming of age of his only son, and the 25th year of the establishment of the Westminster College”.
As time goes on, I will endeavor to scan the book in its entirety for posting on this blog (the copyright is long expired). But for now, here are the few photographs that appear in the book. The first is of GSV Wills with his family. Unfortunately there are no explanations as to who’s who, though he does mention earlier in the text that he married a “Miss Goode” (September 30, 1874) so we can presume that she is seated to his right. Update (12/7/11): from details kindly supplied by Colin Newton, we can do our best to piece together who’s who. Front row: Lucy A. (Goode) Wills, Beatrice A. Wills (b. 1888), G.S.V. Wills. Rear: Son Harry Sampson Wills (b. 1878) is surrounded by his sisters Georgina (b. 1876), Edith (b. 1880), and Lillian Maude (b. 1882). Unfortunately, the sisters are so close in age, it’s hard to guess which daughter is which.
Next are two of the homes he resided in. The first one pictured was located in Southwark. From there, the book says he “removed to Tulse Hill and thence South Croydon”. The other photo is of the South Croydon house. I always wonder whether such buildings are still standing. On a lark, I went on Google Streetview and quickly came upon a house at 27 Croham Road CR2 next to an embankment. I’d be willing to bet that this was GSV Wills’ home. Take a look and see what you think. Even the chimneys of the house next door look identical to those in the book’s photo. I think I have found the one in Southwark as well. Go on Google Streetview to the corner of St. George’s Road and Gladstone Road. It is most definitely the same house. Amazing how we can see what streets look like half way around the world!!!
Lastly, I am including an obituary notice dated May 6, 1932, that I found tucked in the back of the book.