William, the son of William Patterson of Copeton, enlisted at Inverell on 8 January 1916. He had previously tried to enlist but was not accepted as he was under age. He joined the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs which left Inverell on 12 January for the Narrabri Camp. From there these men were moved to Armidale and Rutherford Camps as part of the 33rd Battalion.
Whilst home on final leave in April 1916, William and his fellow Kurrajong, Norman Hayes, were given a farewell at Copeton during which they were each presented with an inscribed gold mounted fountain pen.
William was transferred to the 35th Battalion in June and sailed from Australia on the ship Port Sydney in September. After training in England, his Battalion moved to France. During 1918 he was wounded in action and invalided to England. A few months later he was returned to Australia and medically discharged. Shortly afterwards he married and then lived at Abermain until his death in 1969.