His older brother, John Stoten, had joined the Hertfordshire Regiment prior to the Great War and had been a member of “E” Company. He was with the Regiment when it arrived in France on the 5th November 1914, and was severely injured on the 19th November 1914, from shell splinters during an artillery bombardment which claimed the lives of seven members of the company. John lost his right eye as a result of his injuries and was discharged from the Army in October 1915. Just a few weeks later, William, aged 16, perhaps looking for revenge for his brothers’ injuries, enlisted in the Hertfordshire Regiment. He was posted overseas in October 1916, just in time to take part in the Battle of Ancre, the final British offensive on the Somme in 1916. As winter drew in, William moved with the Battalion to the Ypres sector and on the 7thJanuary 1917 were holding frontline positions near Hill Top, North-West of the village of Wieltje. At 2.45am the positions were heavily shelled by German artillery and then raided by German infantry. Although the attack was driven off, three men had been killed. Captain Smallwood, Corporal Currell MM, and Private William Stoten. All three men lay buried next to each other in the Essex Farm Cemetery, Ypres, a short distance from where they were killed.