The probate record referred to one of his executors being his son, William Henry Bird, "a Schoolmaster in Her Majesty's Regiment of Grenadier Guards quartered in the Tower of London". Sounds interesting !
The Asylum was established in 1801 and, as well as the regimental school, it included a boarding school for around 700 boys and 300 girls of serving or deceased officers who were in need of the Army's charity. The boys were taught the three R's whilst the girls learned the art of needlework and household work.
A Corps of Army Schoolmasters was formed in 1846.
According to his discharge papers, William served just 204 days overseas during his entire service. This was with the "Army in the East" between 5th December 1855 and 26th June 1856 and was during the Crimean War where the Grenadier Guards had suffered heavy casualties. In particular, the 3rd Battalion of Foot Guards, of which he was a member, had fought a couple of years earlier in November 1854 at the Battle of Inkerman. The defence of the Sandbag Battery in the fog against overwhelming odds is one of the epics of British military history. On that day the Brigade of Guards, of which the 3rd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards formed part, lost half its officers and men, but not a single prisoner or an inch of ground. (Source : The History of the Grenadier Guards www.army.mod/uk.)
I am not sure why a serving schoolmaster should be posted to a war zone but he was !
They had a daughter, Helen Marie (aka Ellen) (born in The Tower of London 1857). They then had two sons, Frederick Edwin (born at Portman Barracks 1861) and Ernest William (born at Chelsea Barracks 1869).
On the 1861 census they were living at the Infantry Barracks and Hospital in Windsor which is still where the Grenadier Guards set off to change the guard at Windsor Castle - presumably in those days they were guarding Queen Victoria. The 1861 British Army List shows that William also served in Dublin and The Curragh, County Kildare.
On 1st January 1862 William was promoted to "1st Class Schoolmaster".
We know from his father's probate records that in 1870 William was based at The Tower of London. A year later on the 1871 census he is at the home of the Grenadier Guards, Wellington Barracks (Old Wing) near St James' Park, Westminster.
His wife sadly died while giving birth in February 1872.
Probably soon after leaving The Guards, William became Clerk at St Stephens Club which was on the Victoria Embankment in Westminster. This was a private members club founded in 1870. Charles Dickens said about it in 1879 that "The only persons eligible for membership are those who profess and maintain Constitutional and Conservative principles. The committee have power to select for ballot twenty candidates annually from those duly proposed and seconded, who shall be called selected members. The election of members is by ballot in committee. Entrance fee £31-10s.; subscription £10-10s." Benjamin Disraeli (Prime Minister 1874 - 1880) was one of the founder members. Perhaps William met him ?
As you can see from the Probate summary, his brother Frederick Elliott Bird was executor of his estate and, it certainly looks like, the legal guardian of his two boys, who would now be aged 10 and 18.