Mr William Young Moyes was born at Douglas Terrace in St Ninians, Stirlingshire, Scotland on 18 June 1887.
He was the son of Alexander Moyes (b. 19 April 1851 in Dunfermline, Fife), a headmaster of the Primary High School, Stirling, and Wilhelmina "Mina" Jane Young (b. 28 November 1854 in Stirling) who had married on 19 April 1883.
William, known as Billie, had three known siblings: Alexander Barclay (b. 1884), Agnes (b. 1885, later Mrs James Harris Bell) and Mina Young (b. 1890).
He and his family appear on the 1891 Scottish census living at 22 Douglas Terrace, St Ninians, Stirlingshire; his mother had passed away the year previous, not long after the birth of his younger sister Mina and aged just 35. The family would move several doors away to 11 Douglas Terrace by the time of the 1901 census, with William being described as a scholar.
Educated at Stirling Elementary High School, Moyes was an accomplished sportsman and was captain of the Rugby football club at Stirling. He served his apprenticeship with David Rowan & Co. of Glasgow and later joined the White Star Line. Just before Christmas 1911 began to work aboard Oceanic before joining Titanic as Senior 6th Engineer.
When William signed on to the Titanic in Southampton for her maiden voyage he gave his address as 11 Douglas Terrace, Stirling and his previous ship as the Olympic. As the Senior Sixth Engineer he could expect monthly wages of £9.
William Moyes lost his life in the sinking; his body, if recovered, was never identified. A memoriam, written by a friend of his, appeared in the Stirling Observer on 23 April 1912:
“Having known ‘Billie’, as he was known among us, from the early standards of the Elementary High School up to the present time, and now that every hope of his having been saved seems to have vanished, the happiest memories of him stand out prominently in my mind more clearly and more freshly than ever before.
Since the first news of the calamity reached Stirling, I have eagerly scanned, as I am sure have all his other chums, every line of the newspapers in the hope of his having been picked up by the crew of the Carpathia, for those of us who knew him also knew at once that his being in one of the boats was out of the question, but, alas! Not a single word is said of any engineer... Read more...”
In 2002, in conjunction with the Falkirk Titanic Society, a brass plaque was unveiled by Stirling's Provost Tommy Brooks and William's niece Christine Bole. Also, his Steiff Teddy Bear is still in existence and is often exhibited.