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William McKay was born on 29th November 1896. He attended evening classes in drawing and painting at The Glasgow School of Art from 1914 to 1916, and again from 1918 to 1921. During this time he worked as a colour etcher. It is possible that he was conscripted to fight in the First World War in 1916. He is commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art's First World War Roll of Honour, upon which he is identified as a member of the Lovat Scouts.
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