William enlisted on 11th October 1899. He was 18 years and 4 months old, and was a Labourer by trade. He first saw active service in the South African War from 7th January 1900 to 2nd June 1903, gaining the South African (Queen's) and the South African (King's) medals. On 29th April 1914 he was promoted to the rank of Corporal. He entered the war in France on 18th August 1914, as part of the Regimental Medical Officer's team for the 15th Brigade. Royal Field Artillery. On 20th August 1914 he gained promotion to the rank of Serjeant., however on 5th October he was awaiting trial for drunkenness and his rank was reduced again to a Private. He served on the Western Front until 2nd December 1917 when he travelled to Italy. He gained promotion again to the rank of Corporal on 23rd October 1916. He returned to France on 4th April 1918, and served there until 20th February 1919 when he returned to the UK. He was appointed acting serjeant on 1st May 1920. His service number changed to 7248637. He was demobilized on 8th December 1920.