Walter Edward Brownknown as Bud to his friends, was born 9 January,1925 on a farm in Lashburn, Saskatchewan, Canada. The village Lashburne was established in 1905 after a railway line had been built. When WWI ended, it became popular with immigrants from Great Britain and other countries in Europe.
His parents, William George and Emma Beatrice had seven children after their marriage in 1910. Walter Edward had three brothers, James (Jim), George and John (Jack). His three sisters were Beatrice Ruth, Emma Bernice and Sarah Gene. The family attended the United church.
Walter Edward went to school in Regina, reached grade 6 and left school at the age of 13.
Before he joined the army, he worked for two years with the Canadian National Railways, bridge and building, in Edmonton, Alberta as an assistant construction engineer.
On Tuesday, 21 March,1944, at the age of 19, he enlisted in the Canadian army in Calgary, Alberta, At that point he had been living on his own in Edmonton. His employer,(CNR), had indicated that he could return to his old job after the war ended.
During his medical examination, Walter Edward was described as a healthy, blond man with blue eyes, 1.95m. tall and weighing 90 kilos. A man of imposing appearance. He had broken his collarbone three times. In 1941, he had been told that he had a weak heart but no evidence was found of this in the present examination. He received the necessary inoculations and was placed with the general reinforcement unit in Calgary as a private.
Before his transfer to Europe, he followed various training courses in Camrose and Calgary. His lieutenant in Camrose reported that he was a big strong man with good sense and potential leadership qualities, keen to learn and good at following instructions.
However, on 14 April, 1944, two days after his first examination, Walter Edward was admitted to the Belcher military hospital in Calgary. It was not clear what the problem was but on 9 May he was transferred to a sanatorium in Harrison Hot Springs. He resumed his army training 7 July in the Prince of Wales Armoury in Edmonton, staying there for a month. He was then transferred on 12 August to a training centre in Calgary.. His daily pay was increased by ten cents, 21 September, making his pay $1.50 a day.