William's reserve unit was the 16th (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. He would keep with this battalion when he joined the army full time, then on the 1 September 1916 the regimental distinctions disappeared and the battalions were re-designated as the 1st to 116th reserve battalion in one of 26 reserve brigades, and in the case of William, he joined the 17th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps, and as a Lance Corporal. William enlisted at Manchester.
A lance corporal usually serves as second-in-command of a section. It is also a rank held by specialists such as clerks, drivers, signallers, machine-gunners and mortar men.
The 1918 Spring Offensive