Other than his inscription of the Stockport War Memorial and the fact that he enlisted into the army in the town, William's connection with the area is unknown. Perhaps he worked in the town or members of his family lived locally.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records his parents as being Thomas and Eliza Cawley of Smallwood, near Sandbach. This must be an error (or, perhaps, a middle name that he was known by). Whilst Eliza Cawley was certainly his mother, her husband was Samuel Cawley. They had married in the late autumn of 1891 at St John's Church, Smallwood and, ten years later, were living at Arclid, also near Sandbach. By then, they had three children - Lily (5), Sarah (8) and William (6).
When William joined the army, he originally enlisted into the Stockport Territorial Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment. This was the 6th Cheshires and his original service number was 4578. This is consistent with him enlisting around mud-1915. He never served abroard with the Cheshires and was probably transferred to the Lancashires when he finished training.
Coulommiers, where he is buried, was a centre for French military hospitals and William is recorded as having died of wounds he received. It cannot be known for certain when William was injured, or under what circumstances, but the Battalion was in action in the days before at the Battle of the Aisne and, at the time, was attached to the French Army.