His mother died in a tragic accident at Cannock Station when he was a young boy and Walter and his siblings were brought up by their father, who later re-married.
Before the war Walter was employed as a coal loader and in 1911 he married local girl Elizabeth Buckley. In March 1915 he enlisted with the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards and after training he was sent to the battlefields of France. He was killed in action on 27th November 1917 and left a widow and young child.
After his death, his Superior Officer wrote to his family saying ‘Walter showed the utmost courage and gallantry in the engagement in which he fell’.
Walter is commemorated on the Heath Hayes War Memorial and on the Cambrai Memorial in France.