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Born in Cambridgeshire where he grew up in a small village. Here he developed a love of all that was around him in the country: its birds, animals, fish and flowers and its people. 

William commenced his art training at Cambridge Art School, following the first year there he was awarded a three year scholarship to the Byam Shaw Art School in London. This was followed with a three year postgraduate course at the Royal Academy Schools.

A series of successful solo shows led to a long association with the Tryon Gallery; then one of the few galleries in London promoting the work of contemporary wildlife artists. It was during this period that his reputation as a premier painter of sporting rivers developed. He worked on many commissions both in the UK and abroad. Four painting trips to The Hofsa River in Iceland were particularly exciting and formative during this period. When Holland and Holland, gunmakers, started their Fine Art Gallery William held the first exhibition there in 1994.

William Garfit has illustrated over 30 books on shooting and country sports and has written a monthly article in the Shooting Gazette for the past 15 years.  A selection of these articles came together to create the book, "Will's Shooting Ways" published by Quiller Publishing in 2009.