William Ottaway was the son of William and Kate Ottaway of Fernside Farm, Featherston. The family had moved from Sussex, England in 1910. Before enlisting in November 1915 at age 20 years William had been an Apiarist (Beekeeper) on the farm. William embarked with the Wellington Mounted Rifles on 29 February 1916 he was killed in action on 9 January 1917 in the Canal Zone during the attack on a large Ottoman garrison at Rafa, on the Sinai–Palestine border. He is buried at the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt.
William's brother Ernest also served during WW1 and thankfully survived.