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William Hackwood was born in Cannock in 1884. By 1901, he was working as a butcher and living with his employer, Thomas Morris, at 49 Stafford Street, Wolverhampton. The household included Thomas’s wife Alice, children Alice, Arthur, Bertrand and John, and a domestic servant, Amy Somerfield. William married Louisa Evans in 1910, and they had a daughter, Mary, a year later.

William initially enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment (number 21389), and later became a Corporal in the Machine Gun Corps (number 21504). On 15 September 1916 he was listed in the Express & Star among the wounded. On 21 March 1918 he died, although it is not clear whether this was as the result of those wounds. By this date, his wife was recorded as living at 28, Frankwell, Shrewsbury. He is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial in France.