Frederick Edward WATERHOUSE

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WATERHOUSE, Frederick Edward

Service Number: 3179
Enlisted: 8 March 1916, Horsham, Victoria
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 38th Infantry Battalion
Born: Burnside, South Australia, 31 July 1888
Home Town: Rupanyup, Yarriambiack, Victoria
Schooling: Adelaide University, South Australia
Occupation: Bank Clerk
Died: Killed in Action, Ypres, Belgium, 4 October 1917, aged 29 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Beltana & District WW1 Roll of Honor, Menin Gate Memorial (Commonwealth Memorial to the Missing of the Ypres Salient)
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World War 1 Service

8 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3179, 38th Infantry Battalion, Horsham, Victoria
19 Feb 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3179, 38th Infantry Battalion, Broodseinde Ridge
19 Feb 1917: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3179, 38th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ballarat, Melbourne
4 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3179, 38th Infantry Battalion, Broodseinde Ridge

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Biography

Fred was the eldest son of Edward George & Kathleen Marion Waterhouse (nee Gerathy). He was raised in the bush, with his father being a mounted constable with postings in Clare, Jamestown, Manna Hill, Crystal Brook and Blinman. As part of his country upbringing he became a very good shot from rabbit shooting.

He enlisted 8/3/16 in Bendigo Vic, as he was working for the Union Bank and had been transferred to Rupinyup Vic. There is some confusion as to what happened, as his war records have another enlistment date of 26/1/17, the reason for two enlistments is unknown to the family.

His records show a transfer on 14/10/16 to Sandringham House and he was listed as Lance Sergeant 24/11/16, allotted as Sergeant 27/1/17 - a day after his second enlistment date.

Fred embarked on 'Ballarat' 19/2/17, disembarked at Devonpart 25/04/17, when he also reverted back to Private. (The troop ship was torpedoed in the Mediterranean. At the time, Fred was playing bridge on the top deck, and apart from some time in the water, was rescued unhurt) He joined the 10th Training Battalion where he was later promoted to Acting Lance Corporal. Fred reverted back to ranks before proceeding overseas to France 12/8/17. His sister Kathleen told that Fred was stuck training marksmen due to his shooting ability, and he wanted to go to the front lines. The only way he could do this was to make the request and revert to private.

He was with the 38th Infantry Battalion which was taken on strength to the field on 6/8/17.

Fred was killed in action, 4/10/17, during the battle of Passchendaele.

Fred was known as 'Water'. The reports collected by the Red Cross from fellow eye witness soldiers state that Fred was acting as a runner. He had been sent to warn 2 stretcher bearers of the danger ahead along the course they were taking, and to take another route. He was blown apart by a shell, as were the 2 stretcher bearers.

He was buried by the Chaplain of the 38th Division just near where he fell. We have map references of D.15.d.00, 3/4 of a mile north of Zonnebekke Village.

Unfortunately, even with these details, Fred does not have a marked grave and his name is listed on the Menin Gate Memorial.

There is some family history written that Fred's younger brother Edward George Waterhouse (enlisted 22/01/1917 aged 18years 6 months) only found out about his brother's death when he took leave from serving in France and visited Ypres looking for him. The war records show that Edward visited Ypres in April 1919, 18 months after Fred was killed - in fact Fred had died about a month before Edward even embarked from Australia. The writer feels that Edward must have known before he took leave to go to Ypres, and was more likely visiting the area hoping to find Fred's grave.

Fred married Minnie Irene Mullen (1888 - 1945) at St Peter's Church, Melbourne on 04/11/1914. Minnie's parents were William Rowland Mullen (Railway Official) and Connie Longhead. Minnie was a very capable soprano and we believe continued to be involved in performaing in some way after Fred's death.

She was living with her parents - in - law in Beltana, northern Flinders Ranges SA when Fred was killed.

In 1928 Minnie remarried to actor John Hastings Miles

 

"KILLED IN ACTION. Sergeant S. HINES. Sergeant F. E. WATERHOUSE.

Word was received in Rupanyup during the week that Sergeant S. Hines, son of Robert Hines of Marnoo, had been killed in action on 24/10/17. Also Sergeant F. E. Waterhouse, formerly accountant in the Union Bank, Rupanyup, who enlisted from here and sailed in February last on the Ballarat which was torpedoed in the English Channel. Sergeant Waterhouse was killed in action on 4th October. He leaves a young widow but no family." - from the Rupanyup Spectator 22 Nov 1917 (nla.gov.au)

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