A printer by trade, William was the son of Joel and Elizabeth Little and had been born locally. When the census was taken in 1901, he was living with his parents and two sisters, Edith and Lucy, at 13 St Matthews Road, Edgeley. At some point, he married Mabel. It's not known when this was or where they lived. William enlisted into the army at Stockport but, after the War, Mabel's address was at Holly Royd, Ripponden.
When he joined up, he was assigned to the South Lancashire Regiment (service number 40208) and went overseas with them, probably towards the end of 1916. It is not known when he transferred to the Warwicks, or under what circumstances. However, a number of battalions were disbanded at the beginning of 1918 with the men being dispersed to other units and this may be the reason for the move.
With less than two weeks before the fighting came to an end, the British Army was on the attack almost constantly. There would be no defeats now but the Germans were fighting for every metre of their retreat and some of the most costly fighting of the whole four years would be seen. At 5.15am on 1 November, the Warwicks again attacked. They captured the village of St Hubert and high ground near Maresches, about 10 kilometres south east of Valenciennes. They took 530 prisoners and also captured four 75mm artillery pieces. However, within a short time, the Germans had regrouped and counter-attacked. They regained some of their ground back but also took back the guns. Sometime during the day, William was badly wounded. He was evacuated to a field hospital at Awoingt, about 40 kilometres away. There military surgeons would have done all they could to save his life, but without success.