William was born in Stockport and was living at the family home of 10 Ince Street, Heaton Norris , when he enlisted into the army, probably in early 1915.
William would be killed at what became known as the Battle of "The Boot" at Band-I-Adhaim in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). The Battle marked the end of the British spring offensive against the Turkish Army. Turkish troops were moving southwards as the British moved north. Both sides appeared to have a good idea of the other's movements and a battle was expected. The Turks withdrew to prepared defensive positions in the foothills on the left bank of the River Tigris at Adhaim. The shape of the high ground and peninsula gave its name to the Battle.
On the 30th, three British Brigades attacked and captured the Turkish front line positions with minimal casualties. The South Lancashires held the position all day under heavy shell and rifle fire. 2 officers and 6 other ranks were killed, including William. As with many men from the Mesopotamia campaign, the location of his grave is now lost.
The local newspaper, reporting William's death, mentioned a number of family members. His brother, James, had been killed the previous year whilst serving with the Cheshires. Jack Boulton was married to Clara and lived nearby at Oxford Street. Arthur Boulton had married Mary. And his sister, Edith, was married to a man only referred to as William.
William also had a "sweetheart" called Jessie. Her surname was not recorded.