Born on 1st December 1888, in Ware, to parents Arthur and Annie Lawrence, he lived in Milletts House along with five sisters Laura, Alice, Edith, Beatrice and Maud. In the 1911 he lived in Gilie Cottages in Roydon Road, Stanstead Abbotts, with his widowed father and his sister Laura and a niece named Ivy. William like his father was a farm labourer. Enlisted in 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment on 11th November1914. At that time, he was recorded as born in Ware.