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Edmund Philip Grove

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Edmund Philip Grove (1868-1941)


1942 Obituary [1]

EDMUND PHILIP GROVE died at Cape Town on the 2nd December, 1941, at the age of 73. Born at Govilon, Monmouthshire, in 1868, he was educated at Abergavenny Grammar School, and at St. Edward's School, Oxford. In November, 1886, he was apprenticed to Messrs. Willans and Robinson in their works at Thames Ditton and on completing his apprenticeship remained with this firm, first as a special tool maker and turner and afterwards as an engineer on outside erection work. From 1891 to 1893 he was employed as a shift engineer by the Metropolitan Electric Supply Co. and in the latter year set up a small private manufacturing business.

In 1895 he entered the service of the British Thomson-Houston Co. (which had just then been formed) and was engaged on the construction of the Bankside station of the City of London Electric Lighting Co. He was assistant to A. L. C. Fell whom the late Dr. C. H. Merz joined shortly afterwards as second assistant. Grove and Merz worked together until the spring of 1896 when Merz became chief assistant to Fell on the construction of the electricity works at Croydon, while Grove remained at Bankside. When the work at Bankside was completed he became resident engineer for the construction of the Middlesbrough, Thornaby and Stockton Electric Tramways. From 1899 to 1901 he was employed by the late Clifton Robinson on the electrification of the London United Tramways and the Bristol Tramways. In 1901 he rejoined the B.T.H. Co. and had charge of that firm's construction department.

In 1903, he was appointed Chief Engineer to the Central London Railway Co., which position he held until early in 1913, when the railway came under the control of the London Underground Railways and he became Assistant Engineer to Mr. Knapp, then Chief Engineer of the L.U.R. Shortly afterwards he joined Messrs. Merz and McLellan in their consulting practice and went to Melbourne as their chief superintending engineer in connection with the electrification of the Melbourne suburban railway system. He remained in Australia until 1925 when he went to Cape Town in the same capacity to supervise the construction of the Electricity Supply Commission's Salt River power station and traction substations for the electrification of the Cape Town suburban railway, on which Merz had reported previously. Upon the completion of this scheme, Grove joined the staff of the South African Electricity Supply Commission as Engineer in Charge of Construction. In 1937 he was appointed Resident Electrical and Mechanical Engineer and Messrs. Merz and McLellan's representative for the construction of the Cape Town City Council's new Table Bay power station, and soon after this station had been completed he retired in September, 1940. He was elected a Member of The Institution in 1913.

Throughout his life he was an extraordinarily hard and persistent worker who could be found "on the job" at all hours of the day and night, working on details of design and construction. He was of a retiring and kindly nature and was always most helpful to anyone who sought his advice and assistance.

He leaves a widow and five children.


1943 Obituary [2]

EDMUND PHILIP GROVE had an extensive experience as an electrical and mechanical engineer during the course of his career, most of which was spent in Australia and South Africa. He served his apprenticeship from 1886 to 1891 with Messrs. Willans and Robinson, of Thames Ditton, and with various electric supply companies in London. During the next twelve years he successively occupied the position of assistant engineer to the Metropolitan Supply Company; the Bristol Tramways Company; and finally the British Thomson-Houston Company.

In addition he studied during 1895-6 at King's College, London. He was appointed chief engineer of the Central London Railway in 1903, and relinquished this position in 1913 on being appointed chief engineer and representative for Messrs. Merz and McLellan, of Westminster, in connection with the scheme for the electrification of the Melbourne suburban section of the Victorian State Railways and the construction of the power houses contingent thereto. On completing this task Mr. Grove proceeded in 1926 to Capetown in the same capacity on behalf of Messrs. Merz and McLellan and supervised the construction of the Salt River Power Station to which, later, large extensions were added under his direction, while acting for the Electricity Supply Commission of South Africa.

His final achievement was the responsibility for the construction of the new and important Table Bay Power Station. Although living in retirement and labouring under considerable physical difficulties, Mr. Grove continued to work at munitions until a short time before his death, which occurred at Capetown on 2nd December 1941 in his seventy-fourth year. He had been a Member of the Institution since 1913 and was also a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.


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