Walter Batty was born in Tonga to an English Father and a Tongan Mother and moved to New Zealand as a child, living in Ponsonby with his Aunt Edith and attending Auckland Grammar School.
He became a clerk and then an insurance agent and lived in Herne Bay for more than 50 years, but he is best known for his success in playing rugby and being the first Tongan All Black. He represented Auckland from 1924-1932 when he played in 64 games. In 1928 he played against New South Wales at Wellington, in 1930 against North Otago and Great Britain at Dunedin, Auckland and Wellington and in 1931, against Australia. When the British team toured in 1930, Batty played in three of the four tests but was unavailable for the final match.
During WW11 Batty enlisted leaving New Zealand in 1940 for Egypt, where he was appointed Sergeant in the New Zealand Artillery 6 Field Regiment and then Warrant Officer 1st Class. In Libya in 1941 he single-handedly disposed of and deterred nine Italian tanks firing on New Zealand troops. For his prompt and determined action he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) in 1942.Walter Batty 1903-1979 is buried in Block X, Row 23, Plot 042.
Block X, Row 23, Plot 042