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British Industrial History

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George Edward Grover

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Sir George Edward Grover (1840-1893)

1862 Began trials to investigate the military potential of balloons basing tests on a paper written by Captain T. H. Cooper.[1]

1862 With Captain F. Beaumont, who had served with Thaddeus Lowe’s Balloon Corps in the American Civil War[2] advocated the formation of a balloon unit within the British Army.

1893 Obituary [3]

COLONEL GEORGE EDWARD GROVER, R.E., third son of the late Mr. Charles E. Grover of Hemel Hempstead, was born on the 2nd of June, 1840, and educated at the Kensington Proprietary School.

At eighteen years of age, after passing through the usual course at the Royal Military Academy, he obtained a commission in the Corps of Royal Engineers and was attached to the office of the Inspector-General of Fortifications to assist in the design and construction of defence works in the southern district.

He was engaged upon works of fortification in the Isle of Wight and at Portsmouth until April, 1866, when he was ordered to Canada where defensive works on a large scale were being carried out.

In the following October he was appointed Assistant Inspector of Works in the Army Manufacturing Department at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, which post he held until November, 1870, when his services were placed at the disposal of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, then engaged in organizing a series of Exhibitions. His rank was that of Deputy Commissioner, with charge of the machinery and scientific collections of the International Exhibitions held at South Kensington from 1871 to 1874. On the 3rd of August, 1872, he was gazetted Captain.

From July, 1873, to June, 1875, Captain Grover was in command of companies at Chatham and Halifax, Nova Scotia. He then passed through the Staff College, after which he was employed on special duty in Turkey.

Returning in March, 1877, he was posted to the Intelligence Department and in November, 1879, was promoted to the rank of Major. From the beginning of the following year until February, 1881, he acted as Secretary to the Royal Engineers Committee and was then for a time in the office of the Inspector-General of Fortifications.

In September, 1882, Major Grover's services were lent to the Admiralty as Superintending Engineer of Portsmouth Dockyard. In less than three years, however, came the opportunity of service in the field which he had long desired, and he gave up the special employment at Portsmouth to join the Suakin Expedition in February, 1885. He served as Deputy Assistant-Adjutant and Quartermaster-General and took part in the engagement at Hasheen, in the action consequent on the attack on a convoy near Tofrek, and in the operations near Tamai. He was mentioned in despatches by Lord Wolseley and Sir Gerald Graham and received the brevet-rank of Lieutenant-Colonel with the medal and clasp for Suakin and the Ehedive’s bronze star.

On returning to England Colonel Grover was stationed at Dover and subsequently at Portsmouth until January, 1887, when he was transferred to the War Office as Assistant Director of Works and later as Assistant Inspector-General of Fortifications. On the expiration of the term of this appointment in January, 1892, he retired on half-pay. In June, 1889, he had been promoted to the rank of Colonel.

After some temporary work for the Science and Art Department, Colonel Grover was appointed in April, 1892, to assist on the Royal Commission for the World’s Columbian Exposition. He immediately took charge of the erection of Victoria House, the headquarters of the Commission at Chicago, and, with the exception of the time occupied by his return to England in the summer of 1892, represented the Royal Commissions, up to the day of his death. His services were most efficient and the manner in which he carried out the erection of the British buildings at the Exposition received special commendation.

His career was, however, suddenly and unexpectedly cut short; on the 29th of January, 1893, he was found dead in his bed at the Virginia Hotel, Chicago, the cause of death being attributed to heart disease. Colonel Grover was a most able and energetic officer, who could always be relied upon to carry out thoroughly whatever duty might be entrusted to him.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 5th of April, 1870.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Royal Flying Corps 1914-1918 by Peter G. Cooksley. Published 2014 (3rd). ISBN 978 0 7509 6005 2
  2. [1] British Balloon Museum and Library
  3. 1893 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries