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The son of Sarah Edgerton, William was born in Shrewsbury in 1898. By 1911, he was living with his mother at the back of No 12 Southampton Street, Wolverhampton.

William enlisted first as a Private in the North Staffordshire Regiment (number 203461) before becoming a Pioneer in the 6th Railway Survey Company of the Royal Engineers (number 338833, later WR/205509). He died in hospital on 21 March 1919, one hundred years ago today. He is buried at the Longueness (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery in France.