William was a 21 year old farm labourer living with his family at North Motton when he volunteered. He was allotted to the newly formed 40th Battalion, serving with ‘A’ Company. On 19th November, in camp at Larkhill, England he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal, just days before heading to the Front. On 22 May 1917 he was promoted again to the rank of corporal. At the battle for Messines he was seriously wounded sustaining gunshot wounds to his right arm, thigh and leg. He was evacuated to England for treatment at the Royal Hubert Hospital. From there he was transferred to Dartford and then to Weymouth before being returned to Australia in November 1917.
For a number of years William and his wife Myra lived in the North Motton district where he was well known for being involved in a number of local organisations including the RSL and North Motton Hall and patriotic committees. William worked at the dehydration factory until he died on 18 April 1946 aged 50.