William studied at Aberdeen University, qualifying M.A. in 1881 and M.B. in 1886. In 1886, he went to Keighley as partner to Dr William Dobie, with whom he remained until 1900. In 1895 he took his M.D. - his thesis being on the cause of lead poisoning from moorland water supplies. The subject of this paper arose in consequence of lead poisoning which had occurred in the district.
In 1892 he was appointed Medical Officer for the Keighley Borough, a position he filled until 1928. He took his Diploma of Public Health at Leeds University. After he retired from his position as medical Officer to Keighley he was appointed in a similar capacity in the Craven Combined District, an appointment that was for three months, but for 11 years William held this position, with three or six monthly extensions. When the Hospital Board was formed in 1893 he was appointed Medical officer, and he continued in that capacity until 1937. In 1886 he began giving lectures in first-aid, and was the person responsible for the formation of the St John Ambulance Brigade in the town of Keighley, of which he gave 53 years' continuous service. He became a Knight of Grace of the Order of St John, and also Commissioner for the Northern Area of the West Riding, which extends from Settle to York. He was also responsible for the formation of the "I" Bearer Company, which was attached to the Regular Army and went to France immediately on the outbreak of hostilities in 1914.
William gained a temporary commission within the R.A.M.C., at the rank of Captain on mobilization on 17th June 1915 [LG 10/7/1915], and served with the 2nd Northern General Hospital. On 1st June 1916 he was grant the rank of Major [LG 13/7/1916], and on 1st May 1917 he was granted the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. [LG 14/5/1917] - all whilst employed at Keighley War Hospital, Morton Banks, where he became the Commanding Officer. He also opened the auxiliary hospital at Spencer Street School, where he wife was appointed commandant. He relinquished his commission, after ceasing to be employed at the Keighley War Hospital, on 12th September 1919.
Whilst administrator at the War Hospital he was also drawing a salary as Medical Officer to the town, and his salary as medical officer was given for adapting rooms at Cornmill Bridge for use as a babies welcome for babies born in the poorer districts of the borough. In 1933 his great public service in the district received recognition when he was made a borough justice of the peace.
William was the husband of Agnes Scatterty, MBE of Highfield Lane, Keighley - married on 2nd July 1889, at Kenneth Mont, Aberdeenshire, of which they are both natives. Agnes as a nurse at the War Hospital for three years, and her work for the wounded soldiers was brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War in 1917, resulting in her being awarded the MBE. [Information taken from the Keighley News report: dated Saturday 8th July 1939 (Kindly provided by Andy Wade), and the Roll of Service, Aberdeen University. Portrait photograph also courtesy of Andy Wade]