Walter, the son of Henry & Elizabeth Parker was born in Upton Street Fire Station (photo at right), Chorleton-upon-Medlock, Manchester in 1894; his father then being a corporation fireman. He was educated at Ducey Avenue secondary school and Manchester Grammar School, and later worked in a foundry.
At that time, his brother-in-law, Harry Castell, was working at British Thompson(?) Houston (BTH) in Rugby, and he was able to get Walter a job there as a cashier. Later, Harry, Walter (then 21) and two other men established the "General Foundry and Engineering Company" in Lutterworth, and it was across the Post Office counter there that he first met his wife-to-be, Evelyn Vinter.
Walter was an enthusiast for "8-horse" motor bikes, and he began to buy and sell motorbikes to save money to get married. Walter did any repairs, and Evelyn did much of the testing.
They married during World War I, but Walter was not expecting to be called up. On the Christmas Eve when they had been married just three months, Walter was taken seriously ill with peritonitis, and was rushed into Leicester Hospital. He was discharged a fortnight later, but fainted immediately after the journey home. He was eventually called up and drafted into the Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) to be trained as a signalman and posted to Plymouth, Fort Tregantle, Corsand Bay. Evelyn moved to her parents house in Lincoln where Walter, home on leave, suffered a return of his peritonitis, this time complicated by double pneumonia. He was rushed into the Lincoln Military Hospital, and was under treatment for nearly three weeks. Evelyn was allowed to see him every day, a concession only made in those days for very ill patients.
However, Walter was never sent to France. By the end of the War, Harry Castell had sold the Lutterworth works, so there was no point in returning there; Walter therefore took a job as experimental engineer at Ruston & Hornsby, Lincoln, and later as the sales manager for Stocks Motor Company, Lincoln. He was later able to set up his own limited company (Parker Taylor & Company Ltd) with Mr Leslie Taylor, and was soon the agent for several car manufacturers.