According to his attestation papers dated February 11, 1916 at Mimico, William John Porter of Newcastle Street, Mimico, was born on November 15, 1895 at West Bromwich, England. He listed his mother Jane Porter, Newcastle Street, Mimico as his next of kin. He was a leather worker and an active member of the 12th Regiment, York Rangers. He was 19 years and 9 months of age at was 5 feet 6 inches tall. He had blue eyes, fair hair and complexion. He was a Methodist.
According to the 1921 Toronto City directory he was a rubber worker, living with his father William Porter (also a rubber worker) on the north side of Cavell Avenue, Mimico.