He was born at Cherry Hinton and married in Cambridge in 1904 to Netta Mary Smith. They had three children – Frederick (born 1906 Comberton), Audrey (born Comberton 1909) and Thomas (born Harston 1915.
He was the Schoolmaster at Harston school from 1912 and lived in the School house, 8 High Street . He was described in one of his pupil’s memories as ‘A very forward-looking man and a strict disciplinarian and was not above using the cane when necessary. He completely changed the whole set up at the school, introducing woodwork & cookery. He gave special attention to his most promising pupils and got several through to passing scholarships.
Before enlisting he organised fund raising activities in the village as reported in the Cambridge Independent Press:
20 Aug 1915 ‘A Garden Fete was organised in the grounds of Harston Manor by Mr Sadler, the schoolmaster, in aid of Shelford Auxiliary Hospital.’
10 Sept 1915 ‘ Harston schoolmaster Mr W H Sadler collected £16 4s 3d at a Garden Fete, in aid of Shelford Auxiliary Hospital.’
He joined the Royal Naval Division in October 1916, gaining a commission in June 1917, then trained as an officer with the 5th Officer Cadet Battalion at St John’s College, after which he joined The Queen’s Regiment. He returned home from the Front in January 1918. Having returned to the Front he was killed in action on August 24, while leading his platoon in a successful attack on Vis-en-Artois which was liberated on that day.
His death was reported in the press on 6 Sept and mentioned that Mrs Sadler is unable to answer every letter of condolence, and begs to thank all those who have expressed their sympathy.
He is commemorated on the Vis-En-Artois Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. Panel 10 .