William enlisted in the Dorsetshire Regiment on 6th March 1907 when he was 18 years of age. From January 1909 to October 1914 he served in Poona, India with the 2nd Battalion as part of the 16th Indian Brigade. The Battalion were then sent to Mesopotamia landing at Fao in the Persian Gulf on 6th November 1914.
On 29th April 1916, William’s service record shows that he was reported as a prisoner of war. Many of the Battalion were captured by the Turks on that day following the siege of Kut.
A letter from the War Office dated 7th February 1919 stated that a repatriated prisoner from Turkey had notified that William had died as a Prisoner of War and that the next of kin should be informed.
William’s widowed mother Hannah Day was living at 32 Mayfield Road, Hampton Park, Southampton and she received William’s effects which included spoons, forks, 2 purses, a cigarette case and cigarette cards. William was one of 11 children, seven of whom were still living at the family home with Hannah in 1911.
There are two entries in the National Roll of Honour about William which explain that he was in the army at the outbreak of WW1 and was drafted to Mesopotamia in 1914 taking part in many engagements under General Townsend’s forces. He was wounded and taken prisoner at the Battle of Kut. He had completed over 9 years service and was awarded the three war medals, the 1914-15 Star, the General service Medal and the Victory Medal.