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Thread: Bert Groves DFM

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    Default Bert Groves DFM

    Hi
    I'm writing an obituary of Bert Groves who has died while playing bowls in Bridgnorth at the age of 92. Can anybody help me with details of his DFM? Speaking to the bowling club secretary it seems he was the tailgunner on a Halifax and was badly injured on about his fifth mission, losing an eye. While he was in hospital the rest of his crew were killed. He was invalided out and became a plasterer.
    His initial is likely to be B.C. Groves.
    I'm hoping to chat to his family but haven't managed to established contact yet.
    His son Doctor Clive Groves received the Royal Humane Society's bronze medal for his attempts to try to save those on board a burning Chipmunk that had crashed at Husbands Bosworth.
    Any help gratefully received

    hellcat1839

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    Hello,

    Here is the Official Recommendation for Sgt Groves' DFM:

    GROVES, Bertram Charles. 1350274 Sergeant, No.10 Sqn. (Immediate).
    London Gazette 30/6/1942. Sorties 2. Flying hours 10. Air Gunner. Air/8468.

    This Air Gunner was tail gunner in Halifax aircraft DG222* "Q" of No.10 squadron on the night of 30th May, 1942. When over the target, this N.C.O. was hit by flak but, in spite of his wounds, continued to fire at searchlights and light flak positions while the aircraft lost height from 14,000 feet down to 200 feet. Eventually, he was forced to cease firing by being hit again in the arm and in the eye and by having the turret rendered unserviceable by light flak. He was unable to get out of the turret owing to the fact that the doors were jammed. During the whole of the engagement which lasted 25 minutes, he never gave any indication that he had been hit. The total injuries received by this N.C.O. were:- fractured wrist, fractured arm, two holes in the chest and a very seriously injured eye. In spite of his inexperience, this N.C.O. showed great courage and tenacity. He has since lost the eye injured during the action. I have no hesitation whatever in recommending him most strongly for the immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.

    7th June, 1942.

    Remarks by A.O.C. For the courage and tenacity shown by this N.C.O., I strongly recommend the immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.

    See:
    The Distinguished Flying Medal Register for the Second World War with Official Recommendation Details. Volume I. A-J.
    Tavender,Ian.
    London:Savannah,2000.
    p.781.

    Col.

    * Halifax II DG222:ZA-Q, (Captain: R/7671 WOII Alfred Roger JUNEAU RCAF) if in fact it carried Groves' old crew, was lost on 11/12-12-1942, attacking Torino (See;BCL3/275).
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 19th April 2013 at 12:34.

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    Hi,

    He was with No.10 Squadron.

    The Citation is in Tavender.

    "Groves, Bertram Charles, 1350274, Sergeant, No.10 Sqn
    L.G. 30th June 1942

    One night in May, 1942, Sergeant Groves was the tail gunner of a Halifax aircraft engaged on operations. When over the target he was wounded by enemy fire. Nevertheless, he continued to fire his guns at searchlights and enemy gun positions while the aircraft lost height from 14,000 feet to only 200 feet. He was wounded again in the arm and the eye and his turret was rendered unserviceable. He was thus forced to cease fire. His difficulties were still further increased as the turret doors became jammed and he was unable to get out. During the whole of the engagement. which lasted 25 minutes, Sergeant Groves gave no indication that he had been so badly wounded. He displayed fortitude, courage and tenacity of a high standard."

    Regards
    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

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    Default Thank you both

    Thank you very much for this information. I have now spoken to the son, Clive, and he was unaware of the contents of the citation - his father did not really speak much about his experiences - so he was fascinated to hear the details. He is not sure if his crew was killed later but knows the pilot, whose name he thinks was Tony Ennis, was killed.
    One thing his father did say was that he looked up to see that they were flying below the spires of Cologne cathedral.
    His father was sent to RAF Bridgnorth as an instructor afterwards where he met and married a local girl, which explains why he settled there.
    Bert loved playing bowls and Clive says there couldn't have been a better way for his father to go.

    hellcat1839

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    Do we know if there is any close family relationship between this B C Groves, and the Groves family of "The L G Groves Memorial Prize"? This latter series of prizes was established after Sgt Louis Grimble Groves was killed, as a Met Air Observer, on 10 Sep 45! The Groves family seem to have done fairly more than the norm in the service of the RAF!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    I don't think there is an obvious family connection, Louis Grimble Groves was born in the Chelsea area in the 2nd quarter 1921, his mother's maiden name was Moore. At some point his parents clearly moved to the Isle of Man as that is given as their home by CWGC.

    Bertram Groves was born on the Isle of Wight in the 1st quarter 1921, his mother's maiden name was Scudamore. I think his parents were Charles L Groves & Dora G Scudamore, married 2nd quarter 1916 in Hampstead.

    I've traced both fathers and they were born in completely different areas, Keith Grimble Groves was born in Altrincham, Cheshire, Q1 1888 and Charles Leslie Groves was born on the Isle of Wight in Q3 1895.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    Default Bert Groves

    Hello all,
    I am Bert's youngest son - Keith, and I'd like to thank you for providing the commendation for his DFM. I can also confirm that there is no family link to L G Groves, whose family established prizes for work in the field of meteorology. By coincidence, I worked for 38 years at the Met Office and attended several of the ceremonies for the L G Groves awards, and had the opportunity to discuss the achievements of Bert and Louis. Regrettably, I never won the L G Groves Award!

    keith Groves

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