Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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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:  15 Feb 1896, Sub-Lt: 15 Aug 1899, Lt:15 Feb 1900, Cdr: 22 Jun 1911, Wg Cdr: 15 Nov 1914, Act Wg Capt: 30 Jun 1916, Wg Capt: 31 Dec 1916, Capt: 30 Jun 1917.

(RAF): - (T) Brig-Gen [(T) Lt Col]: 1 Apr 1918, Act  Brig-Gen: 1 May 1919, Col: 1 Aug 1919, Gp Capt: 4 Aug 1919 [1 Jan 1919], A/Cdre: 8 Aug 1919.

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

 6 Jul 1911:                W/T Experimental Commander, HMS Vernon

12 Jun 1912:              Flag Commander to C-in-C, Mediterranean, HMS Good Hope.   

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

 1 Jan 1913:              Appointed to War Staff

12 Jul 1914:                Attached HMS President for temporary duty with Air Department.

29 Oct 1914:              Assistant to Director of the Air Department, Admiralty

15 Feb 1915:              Assistant Director of the Air Department, Admiralty

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

12 Jan 1916:                Officer Commanding, No 1 Wing RNAS. (Nieuport 17)

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

26 May 1916:              Assistant Director-General of the Technical Department. (1st Air Board)  

xx Feb 1917:                Deputy-Controller of the Technical Department, Air Board (2nd)

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

 1 Apr 1918:                Director of Flying Operations, Air Ministry.

17 Apr 1918:               Deputy Chief of the Air Staff.

12 Aug 1918:               Director, Air Division, Naval Staff

12 Mar 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:                AOC, Training Brigade, Middle East

28 Oct 1919:               Acting AOC, RAF Middle East Area.

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

15 Feb 1920:                Supernumerary?, HQ Middle East.

16 Mar 1920:               AOC, Egyptian Group.

 3 Apr 1920:                 Acting AOC, RAF Middle East Area.

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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