Mr William Lake was born in Putney, London, England in early 1866, later being baptised on 20 May that same year in St Mary's Church, Putney.
He was the son of Thomas Lake (b. 1843), a plumber, and his wife Emma (b. 1844, née Brown?), both natives of Putney who had married around 1865.
William was brother to: Emma (b. 1867), Herbert Harry (b. 1869), Ellen Martha (b. 1870), Arthur (b. 1872), Sidney (b. 1874), Tom (b. 1875), Ernest Tom (b. 1876), Annie (b. 1881), George William (b. 1883), Charles (b. 1887) and Mabel (b. 1888).
He first appears on the 1871 census when he and his family were residing at Lee Cottage in Putney. His family were still living in Putney by the time of the 1901 census but William was absent, listed elsewhere as a boarder at 2 Prospect Place, Balsall Heath, Worcestershire and he was described as a hotel waiter. By the time of the 1911 census Lake, who was unmarried, was living at 55 Donaldson Road, Kilburn, Middlesex, the home of his married sister Annie (Mrs George Ballard) and her family, and he was described as a ship's steward. His mother was reportedly a widow by this time but the fate of his father is not known.
Lake initially signed-on to the Titanic in Belfast for her delivery trip to Southampton. When he signed-on again, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as the Florence Hotel, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Olympic and as a saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
William Lake died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His mother later benefitted from the Titanic Relief Fund. What became of her is not known but it is possibly she died within a few short years of her son.