Willie enlisted in June 1916 and was called up for service on 1st December 1916, he was a joiner by trade and was employed at Mr A Hay undertakers Great Horton, he had previously worked for a brewery. Willie came from a large family, his parents were Joseph and Susannah, he had four brothers and two sisters and the family lived at Alma Street, Queensbury. The census for 1891 and 1901 shows the family living at number 29 Alma Street, Queensbury.
By 1911 both his parents had passed away and his siblings had started to move away, Willie lived at number 7 Alma Street with his brother Sam and sister Annie, and by the time of enlistment he was living at number 3 Alma Street.
His next of kin is shown as his brother Sam who was serving in the Tyneside Scottish battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers, however all correspondence is made out to his eldest brother Harry. Records also show that his brothers Tom and Albert were living in Maine USA. Following his death Willie’s estate was divided between all his siblings.
Willie served in the 10th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment, he had disembarked at Boulogne on 26th April 1917 and after time at the base depot Etaples he joined his battalion in the field on 13th May 1917, he was recorded as missing, confirmed killed on 7th June 1917. Aged 36 Willie had served for 43 days in France/Belgium, he has no known grave and is commemorated on the YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL (Panel 20).