William was a twenty seven year old Grazier at Delungra NSW when he enlisted in Sydney in September 1916. His enlistment papers show that he was born in Sydney and both his parents, William and Jessie, were deceased. His sister, Mrs. Doyle, of Inverell, was listed as next of kin.
William joined the Divisional Ammunition Column4, Reinforcement 7 and left Australia on HMAT A11 Ascanius in October 1916. He arrived in England at the end of December and after further training was sent to France in April 1917. He was transferred to the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade and became a Gunner. William was discharged in London in March 1919 and returned to Inverell in October that year.