Walter was born in Claverley, Shropshire, in about 1875, the son of William Cliff. Walter married Kate Rowe in St Thomas, Devon, and by 1901, Walter was living with his wife at 23 Merridale Road, Wolverhampton. Walter was working as a publican’s barman. They were at 6 Market Street, Wolverhampton, in 1911, and Walter was the manager of a beer house. The couple had two children – Maud Mary and Walter Leonard.
Walter does not appear to have done any military service during the First World War. However, he did serve locally as a special constable for Wolverhampton Borough Council. Unfortunately, he did not survive the war, as he died in 1915.