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Walter was born in Wolverhampton in 1893, the son of Benjamin and Sarah Harris. In 1901 they were living at 88 Vicarage Road, together with Walter’s brothers Oscar Percival, Victor N., Ernest Archibald, and Bernard Howard and sister Florence Evelyn The family were living at the same address in 1911, although Walter’s middle name now appears to be Nelson. Walter was a labourer for a varnish manufacturer.

Walter enlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 9723), and then the Royal Engineers (number WR40935 and then 247127, first entering the War on 18 December 1914. He died in a Temporary Hospital in Newport on 19 January 1915, and is buried at Wolverhampton Borough Cemetery. By the time of his death, he appears to have been with the Royal Army Medical Corps (number 1968). He also appears on the RAMC memorial in St Peter’s Church