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William was born in Wolverhampton in 1891, the son of Fielding and Mary Ann Chatwin. In 1911, he was living with his parents at 26 Vicarage Road, Wolverhampton, along with William’s sisters Ethel Edison, Phoebe Ann and Lily May Chatwin. William was a coach trimmer. On 24 January 1916, he married Lily Martha Cockwell at Stretford, St Matthew, Lancashire.

William enlisted initially in the Manchester Regiment (number 31186) and then in the 2nd Battalion of the Border Regiment (number 27340). He was killed in action in France on 26 October 1917. He is remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial.