Walter Gymer was born in either East or West Rudham, Norfolk, on 2 July 1885 to Charles Hubbard Gymer, an agricultural labourer, and Elizabeth née Cooper. The two adjoining villages are both mentioned in his records. By 1911 Walter was a groom at Greens Norton Hall Stables, Towcester, while later that year he married Mabel Mary Short. Their first child, Alan, was born in Norfolk in 1913.
Walter enlisted on 12 December 1915, joining the 11th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers) Hampshire Regiment; as they landed in Le Havre on 18 December en route to the Western Front, he can have had little prior training. The battalion were the Pioneers for the 16th (Irish) Division, deployed near Loos, their baptism of fire coming with the German gas attacks at Hulluch in April in which each side lost over 1,000 casualties to the gas. In July they moved to the Somme and were intensively engaged in that campaign, playing an important part in the capture of the towns of Ginchy and Guillemont in September and, despite heavy losses, the Division gained a reputation as first class shock troops. These actions were notable for the success of air observation in guiding Allied artillery to destroy many of the German guns, which in turn was made possible by almost complete air superiority. Although the Division continued to serve on the Western Front until the end of the war, Walter Gymer was discharged on 12 April 1917 owing to sickness. His service to his country was later recognised by the award of the Silver War Badge in respect of his disability, together with the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
It is unclear when the Gymers moved to Frampton, but the birth of their second son, Basil, was registered in the Wheatenhurst district during the spring of 1917. The family lived in The Street before moving to The Green where their daughter Beryl was born in 1920. Home was The Arch, and Walter worked at Cadbury's and was recorded as a storekeeper in 1939. Walter Gymer was buried in St Mary's churchyard on 28 October 1950. His war service is commemorated on the plaque in the village hall.