William was the second child of William Henry Munton from Stapleford in Leicestershire and Mary Coombes who was born in Cobham in Surrey. The couple married in Surrey 1891 before moving to Leicester, they would go on to have 11 children, however 3 died in childhood.
The 1901 Census shows the family living at 46 Lothair Road with William working as a Gas Stoker. By the time of the 1911 Census they had moved to 23 Knighton Fields Road West. They had seven children living with them and the two oldest were working, Gertrude aged 17 was a Heel Builder and William aged 15 was a Telegraph Messenger. Charles born in 1900, John Edward, born 1903, Doris Mary born 1904, Ernest Arthur born 1907 and Eva born in 1909 were all still at school. After the Census in 1912 their last child, Freda was born.
On the 14th July 1917 the Leicester Daily Post reported that a ‘official notice had been sent to Mr W Munton of 23 Knighton Fields Road that his son Pte W.T.R Murton, London Regiment had died of Wounds received in France on July 11th. He was over two years in the forces and prior to that was engaged at the GPO as a Postman. His brother is in the Base Hospital suffering from wounds received in action’. Charles must have been the brother in the hospital although he wasn’t named.
William was buried at St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen in France. His inscription reads ‘ONE OF THE BEST’. He is also commemorated on Leicester’s Post Office Memorial which was originally held at Bishop Street Post Office, but is now at the Leicester Mail Centre, Centurion Way and can be visited by appointment. As well as William’s name it also includes Percy Hubbard, who died in 1917 and is another man on the St Michael & All Angels Memorial. It’s likely that William joined up at the same time as Percy, as they were both in the London Regiment, Post Office Rifles. Williams service number was 371533 and Percy’s was 371534.
The following year William’s younger brother John, who was working at Kershaw & Abell Hosiery Dyers, enlisted at the age of 16 on 2/10/1918 to the Duke of Wellingtons (West Riding Regiment) 4th Battalion as a Drummer. On the 14/6/19 he was sentenced to 28 days Hard Labour after being convicted of Larceny. John was discharged on Demobilization in September 1920.
In 1933 William’s sister married Frank Cave. Who was the younger brother of George and James Cave who died in the war and are remembered on the St Michael & All Angels Memorial.