William Fairbairn was born in Hertfordshire, England, in 1885. He enlisted in the British Royal Marines at age 16 and was soon serving in places such as Korea, Japan, China and Hong Kong. He developed new hand-to-hand combat methods for the Shanghai Police and these were later also used by the Royal Marines.
As a result of Williams early enlistment, he can so far only be seen in the 1891 census when he was 6 years old.
He is well known for co-creating the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife and for developing a new fighting style that the Royal Marines were also required to learn and use.
1891 census - "England and Wales Census, 1891," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QFPH-7PZ : 11 December 2017), William Fairbrian in household of George Fairbrian, Croydon, Surrey, England; from "1891 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO RG 12, Surrey county, subdistrict, The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.