Rank: Sapper
Number: 442461
Unit: 432nd Field Company ROYAL ENGINEERS
Date of Death: 7 July 1917
Age: 20
Cemetery: Coxyde Military Cemetery, Koksijde, Belgium

William was the son of John and Ellen and the family home was at 7 Lancashire Hill, Stockport. He was not an only child, but it's not known how many brothers and sisters he had. He worked for a local building company - J & J Emerson which had premises at 120 Wellington Road North and Love lane, Heaton Norris.

In his spare time, William was assistant scoutmaster of the 6th Stockport troop at Christ Church. He enlisted into the army at Manchester and the army decided to utilise his building skills by assigning him to the Engineers. This was probably in mid 1916. The 432nd Company was a Territorial unit and was not called on to go overseas on active service until March 1917.

On 6 July 1917, the men were based at Oost Dunkerque. The Company's War Diary mentions only that they were engaged on "normal work" but it is probable that they were constructing advanced billets for the infantry near Nieupoort. The Diary notes "Heavy shelling round Sardinerie; 4 men killed and 3 wounded by one shell. It appears this work may have been observed and so it will be carried out at night in future."  William was one of the men wounded. Working alongside him were Harry Bailey and Thomas Shaw.

The place where William is buried is only a few miles from where he was injured and it is most likely that he died before he could even reach a field hospital.

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