William was the only son of Tom and Mary of Causeway End Farm, Towneley.
He survived the Battle of Poelcappelle in 1917, but was subsequently killed in an action he volunteered for later in the year.
His grave at Dochy Farm Cemetery, Belgium, was visited by his mother and sister in 1919. They requested a photograph of his original grave. The cross was replaced by a war graves stone headstone bearing the inscription requested by the family, “Oh for the touch of the vanished hand and a sound of the voice that is still’d.”