Bill was born to a working class family in Petts Wood, Kent.
He spent his national service with the RAF in Malaya.
He returned home in 1948 to a job in advertising and began attending evening classes at London University.
He was taught by the Communist writer, Randall Swingler (see separate entry).
Swingler encouraged him to apply for a scholarship to Cambridge University. There, he read English at Clare College and joined the Communist Party.
Shephard undertook research on East Anglian dialects at Leeds University, after which he taught at an early comprehensive school in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and then taught English as a foreign language in Birmingham.
In 1962 he returned to Cambridge to work at university’s Local Examinations Syndicate.
He made puppets and doll's houses, not only for his family, but also for sale at Daily Worker and Morning Star bazaars.
Shephard died at the age of 84.
Source: Guardian 26th October 2012