William was born about 1882 to John and Isabella Kent at Orkney, Scotland. He was a thirty three year old single man working as a Labourer at Bronzlee, Elsmore, east of Inverell when he enlisted in February 1916. He joined other district men who formed the Second Contingent of The Kurrajongs and left Inverell together on 29 February 1916.
They trained at the Armidale camp where William became a member of the 33rd Battalion, 1st Reinforcement. The Battalion sailed from Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916 and arrived in England nine weeks later. Further training took place at Salisbury Plain until they were sent to France in November. By this time William had been transferred to the 35th Battalion. The following May he was transferred again, this time to the 9th Australian Trench Mortar Battery.
William was wounded in action on 17 October 1917 and was sent to England where he was admitted to Richmond Military Hospital suffering the effects of mustard gas and burns to his left foot. By March 1918 he had returned to his unit. Two months later he was wounded again and died of his wounds and gas gangrene.
Private William Kent was buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport, France. He is remembered at Inverell where his name is inscribed on the town’s Honor Roll and Cenotaph. He was one of the 215 men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade in 1919. William’s name is also recorded on the Elsmore Honor Roll.