1 Biography 2 Family 3 References 4 Further reading
Biography Willett was born in Farnham, Surrey, in the United Kingdom, and educated at the Philological School. After some commercial experience, he entered his father's building business, Willett Building Services. Between them they created a reputation for "Willett built" quality houses in choice parts of London and the south, including Chelsea and Hove, including Derwent House. He lived most of his life in Chislehurst, Kent, where, it is said, after riding his horse in Petts Wood near his home early one summer morning and noticing how many blinds were still down, the idea for daylight saving time first occurred to him. This was not the first time that the idea of adapting to daylight hours had been mooted, however. It was common practice in the ancient world, and Benjamin Franklin's light-hearted 1784 satire resulted in resurrecting the idea. Although Franklin's facetious suggestion was simply that people should get up earlier in summer, he is often erroneously attributed as the inventor of DST while Willett is often ignored. Modern DST was first proposed by New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson, although many publications incorrectly credit Willett. Using his own financial resources, in 1907 William published a pamphlet "The Waste of Daylight". In it he proposed that the clocks should be advanced by 80 minutes in four incremental steps during April and reversed the same way during September. The evenings would then remain light for longer, increasing daylight recreation time and also saving £2.5 million in lighting costs. He suggested that the clocks should be advanced by 20 minutes at a time at 2 am on successive Sundays in April and be retarded in September.
The Daylight Inn, Petts Wood, 2011
Through vigorous campaigning, by 1908 Willett had managed to gain the
support of a member of parliament (MP), Robert Pearce, who made
several unsuccessful attempts to get it passed into law. A young
Gertrude Maria Willett (1881–died) Constance Muriel Willett (1882–1937), married Rev Charles Inchbald Radford (1871–1944) Herbert William M. Willett (1884–1917) Cicely Gwendoline Willett (1887–died) Dorothy Ermyntrude Willett (1890–died) Gladys Evelyn Willett (1892–died) Basil Rupert Willett (1896–1966)
Secondly in 1910 Christchurch to Florence Mary A. Strickland (born Florence Rose Stickland [sic], Fishbourne, Isle of Wight 1883–died), with issue:
Joan I. Willett (1911–died)
^ David Prout (1989). "Willett built". Victorian Society Annual:
^ B.L. Ullman (March 1918). "Daylight saving in ancient Rome". The
Classical Journal. 13 (6): 450–451. JSTOR 3288163.
^ Benjamin Franklin, writing anonymously (26 April 1784). "Aux auteurs
du Journal". Journal de Paris (in French) (117). The revised
English version is commonly called "An Economical Project".
^ "New Zealand time". NZ Geog. 4 (1): 104. 1948.
Maria Box (1968). Encyclopædia Britannica. Donald De Carle (1947). British Time. London: Crosby Lockwood & Son Ltd. David Prerau (2005). Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time. Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN 1-56025-655-9.
The British version, focusing on the UK, is David Prerau (2005). Saving the Daylight: Why We Put the Clocks Forward. Granta Books. ISBN 1-86207-796-7.
Andrew Saint (21 June 2015). Oxford Dictionary of National