Walter was born in 1891 in Runcorn to William and Eliza Cavanagh. He had at least one brother, Daniel who was 4 years his junior and as a boy he attended the Holy Trinity School and was associated with Camden Wesleyan Church. He was also a member of the Runcorn Tally Ho Harriers. He married in 1914 to Alpha Maud Jones and they had at least two children, Walter Jnr and Eva. However, the burial records indicate that both children died within a month of each other in 1916, Eva on 20th August aged 11 months and Walter on 13th September aged 2. There dad was in France at the time of their deaths.
Their father worked at the Vacuum Plant at the Salt Union Works at Weston point.
Walter enlisted in the army in February 1916, and went to France the following June. In April 1918, his wife received news that he had been injured, but was in hospital and doing well. However, on the same afternoon there came a telegram from the records office at Shrewsbury , stating that he had died of his wounds in the 24th General Hospital at Etaples, France.
A letter was received from a sister at the hospital, stating that Walter had passed away at 3-15pm, after being admitted suffering from a severe buttock wound. He died of gas infection.
Walter is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Plot XXIX, Row H, Grave 1 and his MIC states he was entitled to a War and Victory medal.
On his headstone is the inscription,
“I loved you in life, you are dear to me still”
Compiled by Graeme Ainsworth with assistance from Percy Dunbavand