It has not been possible to positively identify details of William Smith's early life beyond the fact that he was 31 years of age at the time of his marriage on 12 October 1918 at St Mary's, Frampton, and that his father was Thomas Smith. William's wedding to Catherine Sarah Dark, sister of George Edward and Stephen John, had evidently been planned for some time for their banns were read on three consecutive Sundays from 27 January that year, William's commitments with the King's Royal Rifle Corps presumably accounting for the subsequent delay.
The entry in the marriage register indicates that William was a sergeant with the 1st Battalion. While his period of service is not known, it must have been on the Western Front where his battalion formed part of the 6th Brigade, 2nd Division, taking part in most of the major actions. In 1918 they fought on the Somme, in the Battles of the Hindenburg Line and the Battle of the Selle (17-25 October, shortly after William's marriage). The 2nd Division was selected to advance into Germany and formed part of the Occupation Force after the Armistice which no doubt accounts for William remaining an absent voter at Fromebridge in the spring of 1919.
After the war, William and Catherine settled in Fromebridge, later living at the Pike House, Perryway, before moving away. During this time, four children were born: William, George, Harold and Gerald. William Smith's war service has not been remembered on the plaque in the village hall.