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William was born in Wolverhampton in 1891, the son of Kate Egan. He was living with his mother and brother John T. at 13 Derry Street, Wolverhampton, in 1901. By 1911, he was a boarder in the home of John Wickes at 84 Duck Street, Wolverhampton. William was a general labourer working for the Chromographic Enamel Company. He married Nancy Price in Wolverhampton in 1913.

William enlisted with the 1st/6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 1337), and became a Lance Corporal. He first served in France from 5 March 1915. Unfortunately he received a gunshot wound and died later in hospital in Etaples, France on 8 August 1915. This was reported in the Midland Counties Express on 14 August 1915 (although his surname was incorrectly printed as “Egom”). His address according to the article was then 25 Cobden Lane, Blakenhall. He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery and remembered on the memorial at St Luke’s Church, Blakenhall.