William was born in Wolverhampton in about 1877, the son of Mary and William Cooper. In 1891 he was living with his parents at Prestwood Road, Heath Town, alongside siblings Mary, Thomas, Harry, George, Edward, Ernest and Frank. He later married a woman named Edith, and they had three children, but I have been unable to confirm the details of these individuals.
From about 1895 onwards, he joined the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 4888). When war broke out he was a Quartermaster-sergeant serving in Africa, but he was later promoted to Second Lieutenant. On 25 September 1915, William was shot through the thigh and had his two legs crushed. According to an article in the Express & Star dated 8 November 1915, he shouted “Come on, lads. Don’t give way.” Two of his soldiers bandaged his wound and went for a stretcher, but by the time they returned he had died. His widow and children were at this time living at 110 Milton Road, Heath Town, and his parents were still at Prestwood Road. He is remembered on the Loos Memorial, as well as on that at Heath Town – the latter site also gives a bit more detail about his military service.