According to his attestation papers dated January 5, 1916 at Toronto Robert Albert Cleeton of Heman Street, Mimico was born on August 7, 1884 in Birmingham, England. He listed his father Robert Cleeton, c/o Mrs. E. Thornboro, Heman Street Mimico as his next of kin. He was a labourer and had no previous military experience. He was 31 years and 4 months of age and stood 5 feet 6 inches tall. He had blue eyes, dark brown hair and a fresh complexion. He had a birthmark on his left forearm and a mole on his right leg. He was a member of the Church of England.
In the 1921 Toronto City directory he is listed as a machinist living on the south side of Elma Street, Mimico.