William was born in Wolverhampton in 1898, the son of Arthur and Jenny Booth. His father died in 1907, and his mother remarried, to a George Maynard, in Wolverhampton in 1908. By 1911, William and his siblings (Charles, Lizzie, Walter and Wilfred), were living with their mother, step-father and half-brothers William, George, Alfred and Earnest, at 120 Dartmouth Street, Wolverhampton. William attended All Saints School, in Wolverhampton, and later worked for Davies Brothers in Cannock Road.
In 1916, William enlisted with the Hampshire Regiment (number 45491), before transferring to the 3rd Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment (number 57539). During “the course of a battle in which he was taking a manly part”, he was wounded, and died as a result of these wounds on 2 October 1918. This was reported in the Midland Counties Express on 26 October 1918. He is buried at Lapugnoy Military Cemetery in France