William was born in 1892 in Wolverhampton, the son of James Howe. He attended St John’s Schools. By 1911, he was living with his father and two brothers (Alfred and Thomas) at 10 Paradise Street, Wolverhampton. William was a “copper emboster”, working for Loveridge japan and tin plate works in Merridale Street.
William enlisted with the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 9021), disembarking on 4 October 1914. An article appeared in the Express & Star on 28 February, stating that William had been missing since November 1914. It was later confirmed that he had been killed in action on 7 November 1914. The article also stated that his father, of 2 Court, 3 St John’s Square, Wolverhampton, had already lost a son through illness in the past twelve months, and an older brother had been wounded on the Western Front. The brother who died was Alfred, who died in 1914 at the age of 20. I have been unable to confirm details of the older brother. William was featured in the Midland Counties Express on 6 January 1917. William is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, and on the St John’s Church War memorial in Wolverhampton.