Walter Cranfield, better known by his pen name of Denis Crane was the son of Walter Cranfield and Mary Ann nee Chandler, born on14 October 1874 in Lambeth. In September 1901 he married Ellen Amelia, daughter of the Rev. James Flanagan. Though not brought up a Methodist, he entered the Primitive Methodist ministry in 1897 and served in four circuits, including Surrey Chapel, Blackfriars Road, 1900-1. In 1905 he ceased to itinerate on health grounds as he was suffering from ‘Neurosis of the heart’.
Ceasing to itinerate he became a freelance journalist and writer, taking a room over the Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street. He wrote biographies of the Baptist, John Clifford (1908), his father-in-law James Flanagan, and Robert Perks, as well as contributing to such as the Christian World, the Methodist Recorder, the Aldersgate Primitive Methodist Magazine and the United Methodist. Between 1910 and 1914 he visited Canada four times and published The Boys Book of Canada (1922), aimed at encouraging young British men to emigrate. Then in 1923 he was appointed the director of the Canada Official Press Bureau in London.
Sometime between 1918 and 1925 he seems to have separated from his wife and In 1928 married his second wife Clotilde Leopoldine du Bois (1898-post 1947). He died on 11 November 1946 at the Royal Masonic Hospital, Hammersmith.