William Ainscough was born on 6th July 1874 in Blackrod and was baptised on 2nd August. In 1881 he was aged 6, was at school and was living at 434 Top Toll Bar, Westhoughton. In 1891 he was aged 16, was a coal miner and was living at 256 Chorley Road, Westhoughton. In 1901 his age was given as 24 and he was living in Blackrod. In 1911 he was boarding in the household of Robert Tattersall at 312 Whelly, Wigan, and working as a coal hewer.