At the age of twenty seven, William Hadkins, a Labourer, enlisted at Inverell in December 1915. He stated he was born in the Walgett district of NSW, to Mrs. Sarah Hadkins. William joined the First Contingent of the Kurrajongs who left Inverell by train on 12 January 1916 for the Narrabri and Armidale camps. He became a member of the 33rd Battalion, D Company which trained at Armidale and Rutherford prior to departing from Australia in May 1916 on HMAT A74 Marathon.
After nine weeks at sea the Battalion arrived in England where further training took place at Salisbury Plain as part of the 3rd Division. These men were sent to France in November, just in time for the terrible freezing winter of 1916-1917. During July 1917 William was promoted to Lance Corporal then Corporal and transferred to the 9th Trng Battalion in England. He was at Tidsworth School of Instruction and then attended and qualified at an army course in Physical and Bayonet instruction before being sent back to France on 1 April 1918. Four months later he was wounded and invalided back to hospital at Brighton, England, with a gunshot wound to the wrist.
William returned to Australia in November 1918. A year later, in Sydney, he married Eva Elliott of Gundagai NSW. They lived in Sydney where he died in 1950.