William Turpanjian (also known as William Turpan) was born in 1895 (on 24 March or in November according to various sources) in Alexandria, Egypt to the family of Mr Turpanjian and Esma Sophia Turpanjian. He had four brothers and two sisters. The family must have travelled, as one of his older brothers is listed to have been born in Diyarbakir in 1889, and the place of birth for his younger siblings is not clear.
William lost his father in 1910 and the family moved to the USA at some point, where William was working as a tailor. There is no clear information about their departure to the USA, but in his military draft registration card from 1917-1918 his citizenship status is ‘declared intention’.
He served in the Royal Tank Corps, the oldest tank unit in the world from 1914-1920 (Rank: Private, Regimental number: 311569) and was awarded the British Army Medal. After the War he went back to New Jersey, where he lived with his sister’s family. He lost his mother in 1941. William died in May 1966 in New Jersey, USA. His last place of residence was mentioned as 07666 Teaneck, Bergen, New Jersey, USA.