William Cecil Lowe qualified (MRCVS, London) in December 1896 and came to South Africa to take up a temporary appointment in the Cape Veterinary Service for rinderpest control. Arriving for duty in 1897, he worked at Aliwal North, Herschel, Glen Gray, and Uniondale. During the Anglo-Boer war he saw active service from November 1899 to November 1901 as a civilian veterinary officer and then as a veterinary lieutenant to July 1902, with Kitchener's Fighting Scouts in Natal, the Cape Colony, Transvaal and the Orange Free State. In 1907 he was awarded the FRCVS for his thesis entitled Rinderpest.
Lowe married Maria S. Louw and they had nine children. During World War I (1914-1918) he served in the British Army Veterinary Corps and in 1926 was honoured as an officer of the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).