Waterhouse, John Walters, OBE
1908-1971; e.m. 1930

He was born on 12 April 1908 at Hither Green, London, the son of Eric S. Waterhouse. He was educated at St. Paul's School, London University and Wesley House Cambridge, where he won the Gibson Greek Testament Prize and the Senior Marshall Scholarship in NT studies. He was Assistant Tutor at Didsbury College, 1931-1935. He married Dr. Esther Martin (see Waterhouse, Esther M.) in 1936 and in 1944 joined the staff of the National Children's Home, becoming Principal in 1950, during a time of much change. He was instrumental in bringing the Child Migration scheme to an end and he persuaded the Charity Commission to drop the words 'and Orphanage' from the organisation's title.

He was a delegate to the Methodist Ecumenical Conference in Springfield, Mass. in 1947 and to subsequent Conferences in North Carolina, Oslo and London. He was a member of the Mid-Century White House Conference in Child Care held at Washington DC in 1950. He served on the Home Secretary's Advisory Council on Child Care and the Central Training Council, was a founder member of the National Bureau for Co-operation in Child Care (now the National Children's Bureau) and chairman of the National Council for Voluntary Child Care and the first editor of its journal Child Care. In 1958 his work was recognized by the award of an OBE.

He had a deep personal concern for those committed to his care and a remarkable ability of calling forth intense loyalty from his colleagues. In the early days as Principal he was able to attract from the Conference an increasing interest and enthusiasm for the work of the Home. His publications included an introduction to Zoroastrianism and The Bible in Charles Wesley's hymns (1954) in the 'Manuals of Fellowship' series. His later years were overshadowed by poor health; he retired in 1969 to St. Austell, suffering from Parkinson's disease, and died on 1 June 1971.

  • Methodist Recorder, 10 June 1971