William entered the war in France on 23rd August 1914. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal "For exceptionally good work at the Dressing Stations at Bucy le Long and St. Marguerite, during the bombardment of the 14th to the 18th September 1914". He was invalided back to England and admitted into hospital on 25th September 1914 suffering with thrombosis of the leg. He was discharged from hospital of 6th October 1914. He was 29 years and 11 months old at the time.