William had been born in Wilmslow, Cheshire. He lived locally and enlisted at Stockport.
The Battle of the Somme opened on 1 July 1916. William will have been in trenches for the first half of the month, but the Battalion did not take part in any of the "set piece" attacks until the 14th. On that day, there were many casualties, but the Battalion still undertook two attacks on the enemy positions at Ovillers. The Regiment's Official History notes that the position was captured but the Cheshires only had 100 men unharmed and they had to withdraw.
Mid-August found the Battalion at Authille, a village in the middle of the battlefield. The Battalion's War Diary indicates this was a comparatively quiet time, with no major offensive or defensive engagements. The men were kept occupied by undertaking fatigue and carrying work. It may have been comparatively quiet but it was by no means safe. On 20 August, the Diary reports "Very heavy shelling by our gunners. Enemy retaliated and put a lot of shell over Wood Post and vicinity."
The next day "Very heavy bombardment of enemy trenches, but it only lasted a short while. Enemy retaliated - 6 killed and 14 wounded." The next day, the Germans continued to shell the Cheshires' position, doing considerable damage, which had to be repaired under cover of darkness.
On the 24th, the Diary continues "A good deal of fatigue work carried on and we had 8 killed and 19 wounded. Heavy shelling by the enemy day and night." William had been one of those to have lost his life.
(NB: Original research by John Hartley for the Cheadle & Gatley War Memorials website)