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William was born in Wolverhampton on 1 September 1885, the son of Solomon and Patience Boddis. They were living at 92 Wednesfield Road, Wolverhampton, in 1901, along with William’s sister, Hannah. William was working as a commercial clerk. They were at 13 Springfield Road, Wolverhampton, by 1911, and William was a tailor and dealer. Later that year, he married Gertrude G. Blakemore in Wolverhampton, and the couple had four children – twins Mary and Maud (1912), William A. J. (1923) and Arthur B. (1924).

William does not appear to have done any military service during the First World War, but served as a special constable locally in Wolverhampton. By 1939, he was living with his wife and family in Blackpool, working as an engineer gauge maker and coach booking clerk. Gertrude died in 1940, and William remarried, to a Mabel Hallam, in Blackpool in 1953. William himself died in Blackpool on 15 November 1954. The value of his effects was £561 12s. 11d.