William received his medical training at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, qualifying L.R.C.P., M.R.C.S. in 1884 On 1st August 1885 he took up a commission within the Medical Services at the rank of Surgeon Captain, then from 1894 to 1895 served in Warziristan. On 1st August 1897 he gained promotion to the rank of Major, then in 1900 was stationed on China. He was further promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 1st August 1905. When was was declared William was stationed in Lichfield. He went to Woolwich where he formed No 11 Stationary Hospital, becoming the unit’s commanding officer. The unit was mobilized on 22nd August 1914, then sailed from Southampton to Rouen on the 23rd. On 1st March 1915 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel, then on 7th April 1915 became the Assistant Director of Medical Services, 7th Division, and remained there until 2nd December 1915, when he was ordered to England.
In July 1916 William became part of the Tigris Corps in Mesopotamia, when he took over from Col B B Grayfoot I.M.S., the Assistant Director of Medical Service, 3rd (Lahore) Division, who was evacuated sick. At the beginning of 1917, during the Advance for the Capture of Kut,
he had taken up the position of Deputy Director of Medical Services at the Advanced General Headquarters, where he had been tasked with representing the Director of Medical Services by keeping in touch with the two corps headquarters, and by co-ordinating the movements of the field medical units, whilst keeping the D.M.S. and General Staff informed about the units movements and the progress of evacuation from the field ambulances. By the 15th January he had been appointed Deputy Director of Medical Services, 1st Corps.