William was born in Queensland in 1891 and came to Inverell with his parents not long after his birth. He was the eldest son of James and Minnie Brown. William attended Ross Hill Public School at Inverell and later returned to Queensland where he worked as a Stockman. At the age of twenty four he enlisted at Toowoomba, Qld, in January 1916 and joined the 14th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron. He left Australia on HMAT A72 Beltana in May 1916, arriving at Devonport, England in July. After transfer to the 52nd Battalion reinforcements and training in England, he was sent to France in November.
On 12 April 1917 William was wounded in action and died the following day. His burial took place at Favreuil British Cemetery, France. William’s few personal effects were returned to his Father at Inverell and included an autograph book, identity disc, wallet, electric lamp and a metal wrist watch and strap.
His younger brother, Selby, enlisted at Liverpool NSW in 1915 when he was eighteen. He had been a keen member of the Cadets. He was discharged, possibly for health reasons, and then tragically killed in an accident at Inverell in November 1915. A Military Funeral was held for him at Inverell.