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William was born in Coseley in 1899, the son of John and Mary Ann Baker, and christened on 6 April 1899. He was living with his parents at 171 March End, Wednesfield, in 1901, along with siblings Dorothy May, Harold, and John Rowland. By 1911, William was living with his step-father Thomas Elton, mother and siblings at 8 Bank Street, Bilston. William was a galvanizer.

William (now known as Norman), enlisted in the 15th/17th Battalion of the Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire) Regiment (number 60708). He was killed in action in France on 20 October 1918. He is remembered at the Nechin Communal Cemetery in Belgium, as well as on the Bradley Memorial.