William was just about to turn 19 when he entered the academy, more because of the expectations of his family and friends than from any particular desire to join Star Fleet.
He was born in Lincoln, England on Earth in 2364 during an emergency delivery performed by skilled doctors which brought him and his two younger brothers into the universe. William's two brothers, Robert and George, are both drifters and don't take life as seriously as William, who feels a certain responsibility for carrying on the family line (the family can trace their ancestry back to the early 18th century). William has no other siblings and so grew up in a predominantly male-dominated household in the farming districts around Lincoln and within easy distance of some of the great historical European cities. His father, James, works as a civilian security officer on Earth and his mother, Helen, was a drafting assistant for the European Design Bureau, until she became a full time mother, she's now pursuing her interests in the arts and music.
Although William's family have been perdominantly from the British Isles for about five centuries, the surname Velden suggests something of their Austrian heritage, indeed the family name was changed in the early 20th century from Von Velden. Possibly because of this William is interested in Military History, particularly of the mid 18th to early 19th centuries as he was inspired by his ancestor, the Austro-Hungarian General, Wilhelm Von Velden. He's also interested in the politics of the 22nd century European Hegemony. But apart from these academic pursuits, William also enjoys taking part in amature dramatics.
He has pale blue (almost grey) eyes and mouse-brown hair. He isn't the most athletic individual but enjoys swimming and playing badminton. Badminton is how he met his girlfriend, Ally, who used to play with him before he joined the Academy. Now she is studing a degree in Mathematics at Cambridge University and he wonders if his relationship will last while they live increasingly separate lives.
He is an anthropologist, with a deep interest in history. He did start studying archeology at the Academy but gave it up after only one semester. He is very proud to have graduated from the Academy, and really enjoyed the training mission on the USS Challenger. Incidentally, Until joining the Academy, William had only once been off-world, to visit his lunar relatives on the shores of Lake Armstrong.
Somewhat unusually for the 24th century's individualistic and secular society, William has been confirmed an Anglican and regularly attended services when on Earth, he was unsure he'd be able to keep up his devotions at the Academy or when he was away from his family and Earth - but some how he manages.
William has never had any noteworthy medical conditions which required treatment and there were no complications resulting from his birth.