He was born in Birkenhead in 1866. For much of his life, he worked in London as a solicitor. From 1902–08, he lived at Hollywood House in Bersted, West Sussex. He wrote "Sussex by the Sea" when his favourite sister-in-law became engaged to Captain Waithman of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. He may have been inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s poem Sussex, which ends with the line "Yea, Sussex by the sea!" – he had previously set to music several of Kipling's Barrack-Room Ballads. The song was published in 1907. Subsequently, he moved back to London. He suffered from epilepsy in his later years, and took his own life at Roehampton in 1936. He is buried in Bersted churchyard.