William was educated at Gordon College, Aberdeen, where he was Queen's Prizeman, Marine Engineering; and at Aberdeen University, where he qualified M.B. in 1901.
He held appointments as house surgeon at Aberdeen Infirmary, and clinical aural assistant at the London Hospital, and then from 1902 he was in practice at Stoke Newington.
He joined the R.A.M.C. in August 1916 and saw service in India attached to the 50th Indian General Hospital at Bombay for twelve months, and then in November 1917 he went to Palestine, where he was stationed at an advanced post, acting as consulting surgeon. It was whilst he was with this unit in April 1918 that he was taken ill and died from cardiac neuritis in a military hospital at El-Arish.
His commanding officer wrote that William went out of his way to help others and that no work was too much for him. William had published work on scientific engineering and on the measurement of blood pressure. William was the son of Graham McQuiban; and the husband of Florence Coad (formerly McQuiban) of 69 Courtfield Gardens, Earl's Court, London.