It is difficult to determine which of four contemporaneous William Shorters this was. Was it the one born in Wheatley in 1880, an agricultural labourer, son of John Shorter, agricultural labourer and Esther, both born in Wheatley and living on Westfield Road? (In 1901 this William was working as a general labourer boarding at 13 Saville Road, Acton, Middlesex and in 1911 was resident at 12 Wolseley Road, Acton, with his wife Emily Jane, born in Headington Quarry). Or the one baptised on 5 September 1880 but listed in Censuses as born in Wheatley the following year, son of James and Harriet Shorter - and working as a groom (domestic) and residing as a ‘fellow servant' in Shillingford? This would make him a brother of Frederick Henney (Henry?) Shorter and Arthur Shorter. Or again the one born in Bacon Hill, Leicestershire in 1887, grandson of John and Esther, and residing with them on Westfield Road, Wheatley, his parents being Thomas Shorter, born in Wheatley in 1863, and Eliza Ann, born in Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire? (In 1891 this William was working as a mill hand drayman and residing with his parents in Albion Street, Syston, Leicestershire). Or, finally, William Shorter, farm labourer, also born in 1874 but in New Hinksey, married to Annie, born 1883 in Sunningwell, Berkshire? (Their three children were born in Abingdon, South Hinksey and Stanton St John. In 1901 this family was residing in Holton).
Medal cards for a William Shorter in the Army Veterinary Corps carry the Regimental No. SE/5496 and indicate that he was successively Private, Acting Corporal and Staff Sergeant.