Throughout school Billy was a strong and single-minded student who always put right an argument against him. Always ready to stand his ground, Billy continued to earn the respect of his peers. A natural athlete and a maverick with a strong determination, he continually proved to those around him that he could succeed on his own terms.
His persistent and determined attitude would see him overcome personal academic difficulties in 1911 to pass the entrance exams into the Royal Military College. There his individualistic lifestyle would run counter to the discipline of military life. He would commit a number of minor infractions against the College’s rules during his first year of studies.
Determined to succeed, Billy achieved excellent marks during his second year. During his third year a minor youthful indiscretion during the final examinations in May 1914 by Billy would see him balanced on the pendulum of fate, and he faced possible expulsion from the College. Only the anticipated need for every able-bodied man to fight in the potential conflict in Europe and the deferred decision of his pending expulsion to the summer of 1914 kept Billy from being expelled.