Born in Wheatley in 1880, the civil registration being in Headington District in June of that year. Son of Wheatley-born Annie Smith, dressmaker, living on High Street in 1891. A farm labourer. The family had moved to Walthamstow in Essex by 1901 and William was working as a plasterer's labourer. There is a record of a William Smith serving as a Private in 1915, and then Lance Corporal in 1916, with the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. In the 1921 Register of Electors a William and Charlotte Smith are living at the Red Lion but it is not certain that it is one and the same William.