William Charles Arch was born in Marylebone, London, England on July 5, 1897, the son of Charles Arch and Elizabeth Alice Ayton. He left England with his family in 1903 arriving on board SS Dominion at Montreal, Quebec. The family settled in Streetsville where they are listed in the 1911 Census, but without Elizabeth who had died in childbirth in 1910, leaving Charles Arch a widower with four children, two sons and two daughters ranging in age from thirteen to four.
William enlisted at Ravina Barracks, West Toronto, in the 234th Infantry Battalion (Peel), on June 17, 1916. He indicated on his attestation form that he was a florist by trade and gave his father, Charles Arch of Streetsville, as his next of kin. He was described as being 5 feet, 2 inches in height, with a fair complexion, brown eyes and auburn hair. He was assigned regimental number 1024150.
William embarked for England from Halifax on April 18, 1917 on board the Scandinavian, and disembarked at Liverpool on April 29. He was taken on strength with the 12th Battalion at East Sandling Camp in Kent, and then to France with the 75th Battalion on June 21, 1917. According to his Casualty Form-Active Service, William was hospitalized with various ailments, including trench fever, impetigo, debility and inflammation of connective tissue in both legs. On November 29, 1917 he wrote a letter home to his younger brother, Arthur, describing one of his bouts of illness. The letter was published in the Streetsville Review of December 27, 1917.
William went on to describe how his fever would not go down and that he was sent to the First Canadian General Hospital where he remained for about three weeks.
For his service overseas William was awarded the War Service Badge ‘A’ Class. He was demobilized and left for Canada from England on HMTS Mauretania on May 31, 1919, arriving at Halifax on June 6, 1919.
On November 22, 1919 he married Francis Louise Irene Williams in Hamilton. Francis was the daughter of William Williams and Alice Lawson of Centreville, Ontario.
According to the 1821 Census William and Francis were living in Streetsville with their daughter, Margaret. William’s occupation was given as a carpenter. William Arch became very active in Streetsville politics, serving as a councillor from 1940 to 1945, and again from 1947 to 1948, and 1950 to 1951. He served as Reeve from 1953 to 1957, as Warden of Peel County in 1956, and again as councillor from 1958 to 1959 and Deputy Reeve from 1968 to 1969.
Irina Francis Arch, died in 1963. William himself died in 1985 and is buried with his wife in Streetsville Cemetery.