According to The North West Courier newspaper, Narrabri, 17 January 1916, William was one of the men who joined the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs at Moree. William’s enlistment papers record that he was born at Charleville, Queensland and was the son of Henry Benjamin Jarvis. He was a twenty nine year old Cycle Agent who had tried on a previous occasion to enlist and had been rejected when he failed the eyesight test.
William joined the 33rd Battalion D Company and trained at Armidale and Rutherford prior to sailing from Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916. After arriving in England he trained at Salisbury Plain until he was sent to France in November and transferred to the 3rd Battalion. Shortly afterwards he became ill and was returned to England. William was regarded as medically unfit for service and arrived back in Australia in 1917 where he was granted a pension of thirty shillings per fortnight.