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Air Commodore R M Groves


Robert Marsland              b: 3 Jan 1880                                                        d: 27 May 1920

CB - 16 Aug 1918, DSO - 22 Jun 1916, AFC - 3 Jun 1918, LoH O - 11 Aug 1917, DSM(US) - 16 Dec 1919.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(RN): - Midín:  xx xxx xxxx, Act Sub-Lt: xx xxx xxxx, Sub-Lt: 15 Aug 1899, Lt:15 Feb 1900, Cdr: 22 Jun 1911, Wg Cdr: 29 Oct 1914, Act Wg Capt: xx xxx 1916, Wg Capt: 31 Dec 1916, Capt: 30 Jun 1917.

(RAF): - (T) Brig-Gen [(T) Col]: 1 Apr 1918, Act  Brig-Gen: 1 May 1919, Gp Capt: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Jan 1919], A/Cdre: xx xxx xxxx.

xx xxx xxxx:              Acting Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy

15 Aug 1899:             Confirmed as a Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy

xx xxx xxxx:              Officer, HMS Vernon

28 Jul 1908:               Staff Officer (W/T Duties), 2nd Cruiser Sqn, HMS King Edward VII

26 Nov 1912:             Flag Commander to C-in-C, Mediterranean, HMS Inflexible.

xx xxx 1915                Assistant Director of the Air Department, Admiralty

 1 Aug 1915:               Assistant Superintendent of Aircraft Construction (Heavier-than-Air)

xx Jan 1916:                Officer Commanding, No 1 Sqn RNAS. (Nieuport 17)

xx Apr 1916:               Assistant Secretary, (1st) Air Board

xx xxx xxxx:                 Assistant to Head of Technical Department. (2nd Air Board)  

 3 Jan 1918:                 Deputy-Controller of the Technical Department, Air Ministry

 1 Apr 1918:                Director of ?, Air Ministry.

xx xxx xxxx:                  Deputy Chief of the Air Staff.

12 Aug 1918:               Director, Air Division, Naval Staff?

xx Feb 1919:                Deputy Chief of the Air Staff/Director of Operations and Intelligence.

 1 Aug 1919:                Awarded Permanent Commission as a Colonel

 1 Aug 1919:                Appointed Director

 8 Sep 1919:                Acting AOC, RAF Middle East Area.

22 Jan 1920:                Removed from the Navy Lists on being awarded Permanent Commission in RAF

16 Mar 1920:               AOC, Egyptian Group.

Groves gained his RAeC Certificate, No 969, on 15 November 1914 and he was an early advocate in the use of aeroplanes from ships rather than seaplanes, resulting in experiments at Rosyth aboard HMS YarmouthA leading wireless expert he was one of the first officers allocated to the establishment of the new Air Ministry and as such he represented the embryo ministry at the early discussions where the plans for the merging of the two air services were drawn up. He was killed, together with Flying Officer Clarence Bird, in a flying accident whilst serving in Egypt, his family later presenting a sum of money to be used for providing memorial prizes for RAF personnel.  These consisted of a Flying Prize to be awarded to the best all round pilot at the RAF College, each half year, a Navigation Prize for officers attending the course at Calshot, a Research Prize, to be awarded to personnel of any rank for the best work of a technological or scientific nature and four Essay Prizes.

Citation for the award of the DSO: -

"Commander Robert Marsland Groves,. R.N. (Wing Commander, R.N.A.S.).

In recognition of his services in command of a Wing of the Royal Naval Air Service at Dunkirk. Commander Groves has by his personal skill as a pilot, and also by his untiring zeal, effected a marked advancement in the general standard of flying on active service.  He has on several occasions carried out successful reconnaissances to Ostend under fire, and by his own example has proved the utility and great importance of night flying."

(London Gazette - 22 Jun 1916)

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