The son of a shipbroker, Gilbert Waterhouse was born in Kent and educated at Bancroft’s School and the University of London. He qualified as an architect before enlisting in the army on 8 September 1914. Originally joining the army as a private in the 18th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, Waterhouse applied for a commission in April 1915 and in May 1915 was posted as a second lieutenant to the 3rd Battalion Essex Regiment at Harwich. He was subsequently posted to the 2nd Battalion Essex Regiment in France where he is reported as being admitted to hospital on 22nd February 1916 suffering from a septic left arm.

Returning to his unit, Waterhouse took part in the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916 where his unit was stationed south of the village of Serre. He was initially posted as ‘wounded and missing’ although it has since become clear that he either died of wounds or was killed after being initially wounded on 1st July: his death was not formally announced until March 1917. In July 1917 he was buried in the Serre Road No. 2 cemetery.

Waterhouse’s volume of poetry, Rail-Head and Other Poems was published after his death in December 1916: prior to this, his sonnet ‘Coming in splendour thro’ the golden gate’ had been published in The English Review in October 1915.

Gilbert Waterhouse’s Poems


Our thanks to Gordon Brown who suggested adding Gilbert Waterhouse to the site.