William’s birth to James and Ellen Prior was registered at Inverell in 1887. The family were living at Lagoon Flat, Bonshaw when he enlisted at Inverell on 10 January 1916. William joined other district men to form the Second Contingent of The Kurrajongs who left Inverell for the Narrabri camp on 29 February 1916.
William became a member of the 36th Battalion, 1st Reinforcement which sailed from Australia on HMAT A72 Beltana on 13 May 1916. After arriving in England training was conducted at Salisbury Plain until he was transferred to the 56th Battalion and sent to France in September. By November he has been wounded and returned to England. William was admitted to 3rd Southern General Hospital, Oxford with a gunshot wound to his nose and scalp. He rejoined his unit in January 1917. Nine months later, he was wounded a second time. He was promoted to Lance Corporal and during February 1918 was detached for duty with the 184 Tunnelling Company for a month. In September he was wounded a third time. Eventually he returned to England where he was granted three months leave to work on a farm at Llandilo, South Wales.
Lance Corporal Prior returned to Australia in September 1919 and was discharged in December. He married in 1922 and lived at Auburn where he died in 1957. His name is recorded on the Inverell Honor Roll and the Bonshaw Honor Roll.