Oliphant was born in 1885 in Bridgwater, Somerset and was christened William Oliphant Down. He went to school in Shaftesbury, Dorset and became an actor, poet and playwright - "The Maker of Dreams" being his most famous work.
At the outbreak of war in 1914, Oliphant enlisted in the 15th Hussars. He was commissioned into the 4th Battalion of the Princess Charlotte of Wales's (Royal Berkshire) Regiment on 6th September 1915 as a 2nd Lieutenant.
Awarded the Military Cross in 1915 'for conspicuous gallantry in action', Oliphant was killed in action on 25th May 1917 at Demicourt, Somme. His poems were published under the title "Poems" by Gowans and Gray Ltd, London in 1921.
Oliphant is remembered in a plaque on the Bell Tower of St. Mary’s Church in Gillingham, Dorset.