William Harrison began work at Smith's Dock, South Bank in 1917 as an apprentice Shipyard Draughtsman. He lost his job during the Depression, but after a few months' unemployment was recalled to Smith's Dock in September 1933. He became Shipyard Chief Draughtsman in 1940 and was awarded the M.B.E. in 1946. The dates of his autobiography indicate that he retired in 1963.