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William Manford was born in Bilston, in around 1898, the son of Thomas and Sarah Manford. In 1901 he was living with his parents at Black Horse Yard, High Street, Bilston, along with his siblings Thomas, Violet and Richard. They were at Turk’s Head Yard, High Street, Bilston, in 1911, and William was a moulder for a foundry.

He enlisted with the 7th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, (service number 9515). He was promoted to Lance Corporal, but was wounded, and died of his wounds on 28 March 1918. He is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery and remembered on the Bilston Town Hall Ward Roll of Honour.