(L to R) British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal
William was born in Ardwick, Manchester. We don't know anything about his family or his early life.
The First World War broke out in August 1914 and William seems to have joined the Manchester Regiment in around early 1916. He was given the service number 44026. We don't know when he was sent to France. By early October he was a member of the 18th Battalion, serving in the trenches to the west of the town of Bapaume. On the 12th October the 18th Battalion took part in an attack on several German held villages that defended the hills near this town.
The battalion advanced after an artillery barrage. It was hoped that this would destroy the German defences, but it had not. Out of around 350 men who had taken part in the attack 250 were killed, wounded or missing. The survivors sheltered in shell craters until they were able to return to the British lines the next day. William was not with them.
After the war many British soldiers buried in small cemeteries or found on the battlefields were reburied in larger burial grounds. We don't know where William was originally buried, but he now lies with 1211 other men in the A. I. F. Burial Ground, Flers. William's modern grave reference is II. B. 17.
William's medals were donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in February 1987.