William Matthew Hearn was born Church End, Hendon, Middlesex.
He was recruited in England, arrived in South Africa on board the S S Nubian on 8 Jul 1889 and enlisted in the Natal Police on the same day. He served in the Natal Police for 19 years 147 days and was awarded the Natal LS&GC 26 Nov 1909.
He served in the Boer War and Natal Rebellion.
He married Annie Elizabeth in Pietermaritzburg. They had two children; William Frederick and Leslie John. Annie died 25 Feb 1918
William died at Red Hill, near Durban, 27 Nov 1931, aged 66.