William Tutt was born at Drummoyne, New South Wales in 1899 and joined the Australian Imperial Force on 26 February 1917. He was 18 years old at the timealthough he claimed to be at least a year and a half older. Prior to the First Word War, Tutt had worked as a labourer and retrained as a blacksmith in England. He made use of his blacksmithing skills during his war service.
He was assigned to the 13th Infantry Battalion and departed Australia aboard HMAT Marathon on 10 May 1917 with the 25th Reinforcements, 13th Battalion. Tutt proceeded to the Western Front with the 13th Battalion in March 1918, only to return to England in May with severe concussion received from a piece of shrapnel. He re-joined his unit in August 1918, seeing out the last months of the war, before returning to Australia in July 1919. William Tutt also served in the Second World War as a Leading Aircraftman in the Royal Australian Air Force and spent most of his service with 86th Squadron in Merauke, Dutch New Guinea.