William Thomas Cory of Deal, Kent, was apprenticed as a potter on leaving school but when the First World War started, he went to enlist. He walked from Deal to Belvedere to the recruiting office. Although only 14 and big for his age, they guessed he was underage and rejected him. Each year he tried again until aged 17, they let him into the Royal Sussex Regiment. A fit young man, he became a Sergeant 1st Class and a PT Instructor.
He was sent to France after basic training and his regiment reached the front-line after a 10 day train ride in goods trucks on the 1st November 1918. Eleven days later the Armistice was declared. William went into the Rhineland as part of the Army of occupation and returned home in 1920.