In 1911, William was living with his mother and younger brother and sister at 3 Waverley Road, Southampton. His father Henry was not at home on the night of the census and William was one of the seven children of Henry and Louisa Chaplow. He was 26 years of age, single and working as a labourer togged linesman.
William married Gertude R. Pretty in the summer of 1915 in Southampton. By 1916 he was serving as a Fireman in the Mercantile Marine. He died on 12th March 1916 whilst serving on H M Yacht Mekong.
Under the heading “A Gallant Southampton Seaman”, the Southampton and District Pictorial reported that he was “one of the heroic crew of the Government patrol boat Mekong which was recently wrecked. He pluckily volunteered to endeavour to swim ashore with a line, but was drowned before he could reach the beach”.
The report continues that the Captain wrote to his wife, who resides in Northumberland Road, Southampton.
“His gallant efforts to get onshore to render us assistance will never be forgotten, and you may rest assured that his death was as noble as if he had been killed in action.”
William’s name is simply recorded as William Chaplow on Southampton Cenotaph and he is memorialised on a gravestone at Southampton Old Cemetery: