According to his attestation papers dated May 12, 1915 at Toronto, William Renton Birrell was born on October 28, 1889 in Frechein (?), Forfarshire, Scotland. He listed his father Mr. David Birrell, Kevingstone (?), Kenoshire (?) Scotland as his next of kin. He was a florist and had no previous military experience. He was 25 years of age and stood 5 feet 7 inches tall.
He was a Private in the 4th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment) when he died of wounds in Charing Cross War Hospital, Agar Street, London on October 2, 1916. He is buried in the Leuchars Cemetery, UK.
His brother David also enlisted and was killed.