Edwards, William Victor (‘Billy’) (1887–1917), rugby, swimming, and water polo international, was born 16 October 1887 in Strandtown, Belfast, the son of Alfred Edwards, merchant, from Strandtown, and Mary Edwards (née Wilson). He was educated at Thanet College, Margate, England; Coleraine Academical Institute; Campbell College, Belfast; and QUB. He won the Irish 220 yards (201 m) swimming championship in 1912 and was also an international water polo player. Edwards played club rugby for Malone and Knock, and at interprovincial level for Ulster, making four appearances for the province between 1910 and 1912. In 1912, his annus mirabilis, he won two caps for Ireland as a forward, finishing on the winning side against France and losing to England, a year in which Ireland shared the championship with the latter. The following year, on 16 August 1913, Edwards officially became the first man to swim across Belfast Lough, achieving the feat in just over four hours.
A chartered accountant by profession, he received his charter on 28 May 1914. He had little time to practise, as he joined the British army in September 1914. Prior to the first world war, he had been an officer with the 6th Battalion, East Belfast Regiment, of the Ulster Volunteer Force. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant on 22 October 1914 and posted to Tipperary to join the newly raised 7th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. In December 1914 he was promoted to lieutenant, and in June 1915 to captain. In February 1916 he was posted to France, where he appeared twice in the casualty lists. On the first occasion he was gassed and on the second occasion he was wounded in the head at the capture of Ginchy. In recognition of distinguished service he was transferred to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the regiment most associated with members of the IRFU, with the permanent rank of captain, and he was killed in action during the Jerusalem campaign on 29 December 1917. Unmarried, he was a member of Belmont presbyterian church, and he was active in the masons, having been a founder member of a masonic lodge for men on active service while stationed in Tipperary. His swimming club, Donegall SC, donated the W. V. Edwards Cup for the men's 100 yards Ulster freestyle championship in his memory.