William Stuart McKay was born in Candelo in 1890. He was living in Ashfield and working as a motor driver when he enlisted in August 1915. William embarked the HMAT Itonus in Brisbane on 30 December 1915. He served as a motor driver with the 3rd Mechanical Transport Company in England and France, returning to Australia in June 1919.
William was the nephew of Ald. Henry Kinghorne McKay, Orange orchardist and farmer, and Mayor of Orange in 1911. William and his brother George Robert McKay often travelled to Orange to visit their uncle, and they did so in July 1919, following their return from the war.