William Edward Cooper was born at Paddington, London on 28 July 1882. He was a Seaman by occupation and was a Naval Reservist in Australia and joined the NSW Fire Brigades on 23 February 1912.
Having worked at No1 Station Headquarters and No 4 Station Darlinghurst, he was granted indefinite leave on 17 August 1914, so as to join the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force and proceeded with the Force to Rabaul, German New Guinea.
Here he contracted Malaria, which weakened his heart. William Cooper returned to the NSWFB from his indefinite leave on 5 March 1915. He was placed on sick leave due to Cardiac Weakness on 23 Apr 1915 and resumed light duties on 2 August 1915.
Cooper died on 12 August 1915 due to heart failure.
Although not killed in action during WWI or being indicated as died in service on the Honour Roll, William Edward Cooper was no less a victim of the war, having served his adopted country and dying as a consequence of that service.