William George Hawtry Bankes was was born on the 11 September 1836, the fifth child of George Bankes M.P. and Georgina Charlotte Nugent. Educated at Temple Grove and Westminster School. William chose a life in the Military. George Bankes died in 1856 and in the spring of 1857 William enlisted at Aldershot as Cornet Bankes of the 7th Queen’s Own Hussars.