According to his attestation papers dated March 3, 1916, Walter John Trafford was born in Oxford, England on August 26, 1872. He listed his wife Mrs. Eliza Trafford, Portland Street, Mimico as his next of kin. He was an Engineer by profession and indicated that he had had previous military experience with the 12th York Rangers Regiment. He was 40 years and 5 months of age and stood 5 feet 10 inches tall. He had blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion. He was a member of the Church of England.
His sons Cecil and Ralph also enlisted.
In the 1921 Toronto City directory he was living on the north side of Portland Street.