William was born in Auburn. He was son of Mrs Laura Emmason Lownds (previously Child) of Guildford (Station Street), New South Wales. He was a labourer. At the age of 19 years and 8 months he joined the forces on 3 August 1915. He was taken on strength by the 20 Infantry Battalion, 5 Reinforcements in Egypt on 5 February 1916. On 13 March 1916, William was recommended for return to Australia for discharge by the Major who was Commanding 2 Australian Division. The Major also provided the following comment ʺA degenerate character and heavy drinker; breaks camp freely.ʺ William returned to Australia from Egypt six days later (19 March 1916) on H.T. Demosthenes and was discharged for disciplinary reasons.
Neera Sahni, Research Services Leader, Parramatta Heritage Centre, City of Parramatta 2017