William Hipgrave was born in Hertford born 6th December 1895 to Randall and Emily Hipgrave, and was christened on the 16th February 1896, at High Cross, Hertford, Hertfordshire. In 1901 he was living at 53d Fore St Hertford with parents Randall and Emily. In 1911 he was working as a Page Domestic Servant (age 15) at the house of Hon. Mrs. Margaret Mitford at 19 Montagu St Marylebone, a 75 year old widow with a staff of five. In 1911 the parents were living in Wadesmill (Randall is a Bootmaker). At some point William moved to London and was living there when he enlisted in Pangbourne, Berks.