William James Brandon was born in Bushey, Herts on 21st April 1889, son of Mark Brandon a Stationary Engine Stoker and Fanny Brandon, (nee Jordan).
His parents married 30 April 1887 at Emmanual Church, Streatham Common, London. Mark died 1920 in Watford aged 62, and was buried 4 October at St James’, Bushey, Herts. Fanny possibly remarried 1928 in the Watford district to John H Atkins.
William was the eldest of 6 children one died in infancy. He was Baptised on 31st May 1889 at St Matthew’s, Oxhey. At the time the family were living at 6 Caple Road, Bushey, Herts.
1891 Census records William aged 2, living with his parents and 1-month old brother Mark at their widowed grandfather, James Brandon’s home, at 6 Capell Road, Bushey, Herts.
1901 Census records William aged 11, living with his parents, brother Mark 10, sisters Elizabeth 8, Eleanor 6, and Fanny 3, at 30 Pinner Road, New Bushey, Herts.
In September 1908 William enlisted in Watford in the Royal Field Artillery Territorial Force, Hertfordshire Battery with the service No. 173. His service record shows he enlisted for four years, his age given was 19 years and 5 months, 5’5″ tall and his occupation an apprentice moulder and employed by Mr Rodgers of New Bushey. It also records he attended the two-week training camps in July 1909 to 1912. He was discharged in September 1912 on completion of his 4 years’ service.
In 1911 William was working in Bedford as a iron moulder and boarding with Mrs Mary Casselton of 41 Westbourne Road, Queens Park, Bedford, Beds.
William Married Annie Victoria Kilby in 1913. The marriage was registered in Watford, Herts. They went on to have one child Eileen Brandon born in 1916.