April 21, 1829, Exeter, Devon, England.
March 2, 1910, Oxford, England.
Walter was the son of Samuel Thomas Gilbert.
He studied music at Exeter Cathedral and under Alfred Angel, Samuel Wesley and Henry R. Bishop. He attended New College, Oxford (BMus 1854, DMus 1888) and the University of Toronto, Canada (DMus 1888).
He served as organist in Devon at Topsham (1847) and Bideford (1849); in Kent at Tonbridge (1854); the Old Collegiate Church, Maidstone (1859); and Lee (1866); Boston, Lincolnshire (1868); and Trinity Chapel, New York City (1869–97).
He taught at Tonbridge School, helped found the College of Organists, and wrote a number of monographs, including Antiquities of Maidstone. At age 17, he composed a Cathedral Service. He continued to write church music, producing services, oratorios (including The Restoration of Israel and St. John, 1857), organ works, and anthems.