William Scott was born in Greenock, Scotland, in 1913. In 1924, his family moved to his father’s home town of Enniskillen in Northern Ireland where Scott soon began art classes with a local teacher, Kathleen Bridle. In 1928 he enrolled at the Belfast School of Art, moving to London three years later to take up a place at the Royal Academy Schools, initially in the sculpture department, later moving to painting. He married fellow student Mary Lucas in May 1937 and soon after they travelled to Italy and France, establishing an art school in Pont-Aven with the painter Geoffrey Nelson. In 1938, Scott exhibited at the Paris Salon d'Automne, and was elected Sociétaire that same year. Days before the outbreak of the World War II, the Scotts left France, moving firstly to Dublin and then to London before eventually settling in Somerset. Scott joined the Army in July 1942, serving firstly with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps and then as a lithographic draughtsman with the Royal Engineers. Although not demobilized until January 1946, he continued to paint and to exhibit during the War both in group and solo shows.