William Hughes was born in 1896, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Hughes. While William was still a child, his father died and his mother re-married. His stepfather was a George Brophy. The family home was at 17, Upper Bute Street, Liverpool, Lancashire.
He served as an assistant cook in the Stewards' Department on board the Lusitania and he was killed when she was sunk. He was aged just 19 years.
His body was not found and identified afterwards and as a consequence, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, PRO BT 334.