Per his military service record (regimental no. 4773), William Farthing was born at Moss Vale, N.S.W. He gave his age as 29 years and 10 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as laborer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 11 inches tall, weight 155 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and sandy hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had no previous military service.
He completed his medical on the 10th November 1915 at Parramatta, and was attested at Parramatta on the 11th November 1915. The Coo-ees had held a recruiting meeting in the Park at Parramatta on the evening of the 10th November, where it was reported that 41 men had offered themselves as recruits.
After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.
On 21st January 1916 Private Farthing was charged with being absent from parade at the Liverpool Camp, and he was fined 5 shillings. On 3rd February 1916 he was charged with being absent without leave for 1 day, and he was fined 5 shillings. On 21st February 1916 he was charged with being absent without leave for 2 days, and he was fined 20 shillings.
On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Eglington Street, Lidcombe, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his wife, Mrs A. M. [Ada May] Farthing, Eglington Street, Lidcombe, N.S.W.
On 8th March 1916 Private Farthing departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, along with many of the other Coo-ees, as part of the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion. On 27th March 1916 he was charged with breaking ship, and was fined 5 pounds.
He arrived in Egypt on the HMAT A15 Star of England on 11th April 1916.
On 18th April he was admitted to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital at Tel El Kebir, Egypt, suffering from mumps. He was discharged on 26th April 1916. On 30th April 1916 Private Farthing was again admitted to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital suffering mumps. He was discharged on 31st May 1916, and proceeded to England [date and ship unknown].
On 21st June 1916 Private Farthing was admitted to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, England sick (on the same day that Bill Hitchen was also admitted to the same hospital).
He was discharged on 9th November 1916 and sent to the Number 1 Command Depot at Pernham Downs, England, arriving on 11th November 1916.
On 5th December 1916 Private Farthing was charged with being absent from 0900 on 2nd December until 1930 on 3rd December 1916. He was awarded 48 hours detention and fined 4 days pay.
On 16th January 1917 Private Farthing departed England on the ship Princess Victoria bound for France. He arrived at the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples on 17th January 1917.
On 21st January 1917 Private Farthing marched into the 13th Battalion when it was performing fatigue duties at Mametz, France.
On 15th August 1917 Private Farthing was detached to the 4th Australian Division Traffic Police. On 30th October 1917 he was charged with Neglecting to Obey a Lawful Order given by a Superior Officer. He was awarded forfeiture of 21 days pay. He was also sent back to the 13th Battalion.
On 8th September 1918 Private Farthing went on leave to England. He rejoined the 13th Battalion on 24th September 1918 when it was at Picquigny, France.
On 31st December 1918 Private Farthing went to Paris on leave. He returned on 7th January 1919 and was admitted to the Canadian General Hospital suffering Inguinal Adenitis. On 5th February 1919 he was transferred to the 3rd Stationary Hospital. On 17th February 1919 he was sent to England on board a hospital ship and admitted to the King George Hospital in London suffering from boils.
On 25th February 1919 Private Farthing was discharged from hospital and went on leave to report to the Number 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny on 11th March 1919.
On 13th March 1919 Private Farthing marched into the Number 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.
On 5th April 1919 Private Farthing departed England aboard the transport Armagh bound for Australia. He arrived in Sydney on 20th May 1919 and was discharged Termination of Period of Enlistment on 4th July 1919.