William was born in Wolverhampton in 1881, the son of Emily Postance. In 1901 he was living with his widowed mother at the Rose & Crown, Upper Street, Tettenhall, along with his brothers Thomas Mark and Arthur. William was a carpenter.
On 30 April 1904, William married Florence Annie Morris at Tettenhall. The couple had eight children – Eva Emma, William, Daisy Florence, Alice Margery, Thomas Arthur, Phyllis, Herbert Kitchener and Harold Ernest – between 1904 and 1920. The family were at 10 Ormes Lane, Tettenhall, in 1911, and William was a joiner at a motor works.
On 19 March 1914, William enlisted with the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (first number 2176 and later number 240243). His trade was given as motor body maker, and he lived in Ormes Lane, Tettenhall Wood. On 15 June 1916, he was mentioned in despatches for gallant and distinguished conduct in the field, but on 26 August 1916, he was injured in the left knee and was in hospital for about a month. He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field, as announced in the London Gazette on 11 November 1916. The Express & Staron 20 June 1916 stated that he was presented with his medal by Colonel Alex McBean at the Tettenhall Institute. In August 1917 he was admitted to hospital with a fever and poisoning from shell gas. He was demobilised in January 1919.
On 20 July 1920, he reenlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 4906706), and served until 19 August 1923. At this date his trade was listed as a carpenter. William died on 12 December 1956, when his address was 5 The Holloway, Compton, near Wolverhampton. The value of his effects was £1194 17s. 10d.