Walter Ivory Goldstein Deveril was born in 1889 at St Leonards, New South Wales to parents Edgar Hayler Deveril and Jeanette Alice Deveril (nee Ivory). His mother was known as Janie and he had two younger sisters, Eileen and Dorothy.
Deveril was 24 years old when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 24 August 1914. He gave his occupation as painter and listed his uncle, George W Deveril, as his next of kin. His attestation paper reports that he was ‘too short for infantry’ and he was assigned as a batman to 1st Brigade Ammunition Column. He was transferred to 1st Field Artillery Brigade on 27 September 1914 with the rank of driver. He embarked with this unit from Sydney on 26 September 1914 aboard HMAT Pera.
After serving at Gallipoli, Deveril was hospitalised on 16 August 1915 with a septic hand. It is not known when in 1915, that he composed the lyrics to a parody of the song ‘It’s a long, long way to Tipperary’, with Harry James Wall Ross, who served with the 3rd Division Ammunition Column, but it may have been at this time. The parody was titled ‘It’s a long way back to Sydney’.
Deveril rejoined his unit on 9 December 1915 and was taken on strength with 5 Division Artillery on 24 February 1916. He left Alexandria, Egypt, on 17 June 1916 and arrived at Marseilles, France, on 25 June 1916. He was again hospitalised for 64 days on 8 February 1917 and rejoined his unit on 30 April. He returned to Australia on 15 September 1918 and assigned to submarine duty for the voyage. He was discharged from the AIF on 18 January 1919.
Deveril married Dorothy May Toop at Newtown, New South Wales, in 1923. The couple had two daughters, Gwen and Patricia, and were living at Erskinville, Sydney, in 1930.
Walter Deveril died on 1 September 1951.