Dr Wallis was born in Southsea, Hampshire and came from a Naval family. His father was a doctor in the Royal Navy and his paternal grandfather had been a Naval Paymaster Captain. His father died when he was only four years old and he grew up with his mother. Early schooling was in Hampshire and in Malta and later at Epsom College, where he was keen on rugby and cricket. He maintained his interest in these sports all his life.
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