Born in 1893 and lived with parents John and Rosa together with three elder brothers, Albert, Walter and Charles and sister Emily. They lived at Little Rye Farm, Netherfield Lane, Stanstead Abbotts, and he worked locally as a farm labourer, by the time he joined the army he had changed jobs and was described as an engine cleaner. His brother Albert also joined the Army and was also posted to India. His other brothers and father moved to London, his sister married and continued to live in Stanstead Abbotts. Enlisted on 15/09/1912 in Stratford, London in the Royal Garrison Artillery, joined his unit in Newhaven on 13/09/1912. Served in the UK until 19/01/1914 and was then posted to India.