He was born in early 1893 in Nanjivey near St Ives, Cornwall, England.
He was the son of Nicholas Wallis Carbines (b. 1857), a farm labourer, and Jane Wedge Paynter (b. 1864, St Ives natives who were married in 1884. and went on to have fifteen children, twelve of whom survived infancy.
William's surviving siblings were: Nicholas Wallis (1886-1944), John Paynter (1887-1923), Robert Richards (1889-1938), Elizabeth Humphrys (1891-1984, later Mrs Thomas Curnow), Jane Paynter (1895-1995, later Mrs John Couch), Annie Richards (1897-1975, later Mrs William Stevens), Thomas (1900-1990), Lily (1902-1969), Richard Paynter (1907-1944) and George Bryant (1909-1912).
William, known as Willie, was shown on both the 1901 and 1911 census records living with his family at Nanjivey, St Ives and he was described as an unmarried general labourer. His two brothers Robert and John had previously moved to Calumet, Houghton, Michigan and worked there as miners.; another brother, Nicholas, lived and worked in Akron, Ohio.
Willie boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a Second Class passenger (ticket number 28424, which cost £13) with his friend William John Berriman and they were planning to join Carbines' brothers in Calumet, Michigan.
Willie died in the sinking and his body was recovered from the sea by the cable ship CS Mackay-Bennett (#18).
His two brothers identified him and on 10 May the body was taken aboard the Oceanic for transport to Southampton and then by train to St Ives on 27 May 1912, where a long concourse of people lined the terrace overlooking the railway. He was interred in his grandparents' (William and Anne Carbines) grave, in the Barnoon Cemetery, St Ives on 30 May 1912, where over 500 mourners paid their respects. His parents suffered further heartache when their youngest child George died on 24 June 1912. He was buried close to William.