William was the eldest child of William and Annie Nichols of Ashford NSW. At the age of twenty six he enlisted at Inverell in September 1916, having previously been rejected due to his eyesight. A single man, he was employed as a Storekeeper and gave his address as Dinton Vale, Inverell. He was given a Send off at Dinton Vale when the members of the local rifle club presented him with an inscribed gold medal and the Bukkulla residents gave him a silver cigarette case. He was one of twenty four volunteers farewelled at Inverell Town Hall and presented with the Inverell medal before departure.
William joined the 54th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement and sailed from Australia on the ship HMAT A29 Suevic in November 1916. He became ill during the voyage and was disembarked at Capetown for treatment. He eventually arrived in England in mid February and was sent to France in August after attending a Lewis machine gun school. Just a few weeks later he was wounded in action and invalided back to England for treatment of a gunshot wound to his head. He went to France again in June 1918.
William returned to Australia in July 1919 and the Dinton Vale community organised a Welcome Home celebration for him. He lived in the Ashford district until his death in 1949.
William’s name is recorded on the Bonshaw Honor Roll.