William Bazley resided in Natal Colony (now KwaZulu-Natal) from 1883 or earlier. By 1894 he lived in Port Shepstone and was employed in the Public Works Department. He retired on 1 January 1904 as superintendent of roads in Alfred County (the southern part of the Colony). However, he continued to construct roads for a few years, with financial support from the government. In 1907 he had moved to Pietermaritzburg, where he died the next year. He was survived by his wife Margrethe, born Marthinson.
Bazley excavated a cave in Alfred County (southern Kwazulu-Natal) and published a brief report in the journal Man, (1905, Vol. 5, pp. 10-11). The excavation yielded numerous stone artefacts, well-preserved faunal remains, and three human skeletons. Over 200 artefacts were given to Sir Charles Read, then Keeper of the British Museum's Department of British and Medieval Antiquities and Ethnography, and have been in the Museum's Christy Collection ever since. However, Bazley has been strongly criticised for failing to specify the location of the cave, and conducting a destructive and poorly documented excavation of an important site.