Walter Ernest Butler remained very private about his personal life. He was born in East Yorkshire and was one of a large family. He never talked about his brothers, sisters or his parents. It is thought that he was brought up by either an aunt or his grandparents. It is also thought but there is no certainty, that his parents were eventually put into a workhouse.It is also believed that his young life was grim.
He spent some years with the army in India and tried many times to get into the Theosophical Society but was refused. While in India he studied among Hindu spiritual teachers and with the renowned mystic Annie Besant... eventually he was told to return to England and look for the "lady with the roses". In England he trained as a member of Dion Fortune's Fraternity of the Inner Light, and was also a pupil of the psychic Robert King. In 1965, W. E. Butler founded Servants of the Light School of Occult Science. His books, classics in the field, are well-known for their readability and no-nonsense approach to occultism.
He took Holy Orders quite late in life - it is thought, in his fifties. He was trained as a medium by Dr Robert King an archbishop in the Liberal Catholic Church. His wife was called Gladys but her maiden name is not known. They had one child, Iris, a staunch labourite who loathed the occult - as indeed did Gladys. Iris tended to scare the hell out of people as she had both a very forceful physical, and mental presence. There was one grandchild - Keith, who it is understood actually ran away from home for a while and lived in the New Forest with gypsies.
Ernest died on 1st August (Lammas Day) 1978.