William Frank Sweet was born towards the end of 1897 and was the youngest of seven children. His father, Richard, was a groom and, together with his wife, Mary, he raised the family in the Somerset town of Yeovil.
When William left school, he found work as an errand boy for a tailor; by the time of the 1911 census, Richard was working as a coachman for a hotel, and the family were living in a house on the north side of the town.
There is very little other documentation on young William’s life. When war broke out, he enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry, and was assigned to the 5th Battalion, who were based in Taunton.
Further information on Private Sweet is scarce; given when he died, it is likely that he enlisted as part of the first wave of voluntary recruiting. It is also likely that, when he was training at the Tidworth Barracks on Salisbury Plain, he came down with some illness, and it was this to which he succumbed.
William Frank Sweet died on 4th October 1914, at the age of just 17 years old. His body was brought back to Yeovil, and he was buried on 10th October, the day after his Battalion set sail across the English Channel to join the onslaught.