In 1911 William lived at 32 Commercial Street, Queensbury with his parents James and Frances, he was the second born of their six children, at the time of the census he was aged 11, his father worked as a wool sorter and his elder brother who was 14 was a doffer.
William was serving with the 4th Battalion. Lincolnshire Regiment when he was killed in action on 15th April 1918, he was aged 18. His body, if recovered from the battlefields, has no known grave and he is commemorated on the PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL (Panel 3).
On 14th April 1918, the battalion moved into the front line close Westoutre (on the present-day Belgium French border) they held the position of Feutar Farm and Crucifix Corner, overnight they took up new positions in the area. The whole area was on a forward slope and was overlooked by the enemy, the war diary gives a detailed account of the day’s action which saw them relieved at 21:30hrs and arriving at billets by 02:30hrs.
The battalion casualties for the action were: Officers killed 2, wounded 8 including their medical officer, missing 1. Other Ranks killed 12, wounded 120, missing 170.
The Queensbury Roll shows that Percy Gartland, William’s elder brother also served it is believed that he was in the Royal Field Artillery.