Grover, George Edward: Service no. 654887

Digitized Service Record

Source: Per post by Allan Miller in the 161st Huron Battalion CEF Facebook Group.

Find-A-Grave: Death recorded on 30 December 1969 at Saanich, British Columbia.

American Citizen/Born in the U.S.A. Lied about his age. Born 1896.

Captain George Edward Grover RCASC presented with MBE on 05 January 1946.

Son’s Obituary.

GROVER, George Wrightson December 31, 1924 to May 6, 2010 George was born in Courtney, BC, the youngest son of Captain George Edward Grover, MBE, & Mabel Irene Freville (Wrightson). His father served in WW I & II in the Canadian Army & his mother’s father, Lawrence Freville Wrightson, was a personal attendant to King Edward VII. George was predeceased by his two older brothers Stan & Leonard who resided on Vancouver Island & also served in WW II. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jean, his daughter Janet (Michael), his two sons George (Julie) & Roger (Dianne), his grandchildren Marilyn (Kevin), Joshua (Carmen), May, Alexander & Maxwell & his great grandchild Christian. Also survived by close lifelong friends Alec & Celia Uydens, of Sidney, BC, as well as many other friends & associates. George had special boyhood memories of summers spent at Pidgeon Lake in Alberta with his paternal grandparents Captain Lucius Halen & May Grover. Lucius was known as The Farmer” from his long-running Edmonton radio show for children. George also remembered occasionally hiding at home instead of returning to school in order to secretly listen to his mother’s beautiful singing. As a military family they moved frequently & George & his brothers went to numerous schools. George was taught how to box by his father in order to survive the harsh ritual fistfights at each new school. In 1943, George enlisted for pilot training in the Royal Canadian Air Force in Edmonton at the age of eighteen. He was forced to switch to flight engineer training due to an oversupply of pilots & completed his training in 1945. He was posted to Pat Bay near Sidney on Vancouver Island for search & rescue operations off the Pacific coast before the war ended. In 1946, George enrolled at UBC along with many other veterans. Although he enjoyed literature & poetry George realized that a commerce degree was not for him & he moved to Victoria to work for the City Engineering Dept., surveying Beacon Hill Park among many other duties. In August 1951, George married Jean Rogers in the chapel at Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria. In 1953, his continuing interest in flying & aircraft lead him to Calgary & SAIT (the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) where he completed aeronautical engineering training in 1956. George also finally received his pilot’s licence while in Calgary. Immediately after SAIT George joined Avro Aircraft in Ontario & was assigned to the Structures Design & Stress group, one group of many working on the design & production of the Avro Arrow supersonic aircraft. However, in 1959 the Avro Arrow program was cancelled & hundreds of engineers were let go. George again headed for the west coast in search of work in his chosen field, this time with Jean & a child on the way. George was soon hired by Fairey Aviation (Victoria airport & Sproat Lake) as project engineer for the conversion of the Martin Mars flying boats into their firefighting role as water bombers, doing much of the design & analysis. His aeronautical performance calculations are still used today in the operation of the Martin Mars. Along with Dick Wardrope, another aeronautical engineer, it took them over two years to complete the design & engineering of the water tanks, drop doors, the hydraulically driven water pick-up probes, their effects on take-off performance, flight manual changes & flight testing. Even after the conversion was completed, George continued his engineering support of the Mars for over 40 years, ensuring its airworthiness & longevity. One of George’s strongest legacies is his identification of & response to airframe stress loads incurred by the Mars in its severe operating environment. He was very concerned that cumulative stress loads could eventually cause catastrophic mechanical failure. George initiated an air loads monitoring program & with Jim Mattock, an electrical engineer, they developed & built a system, installed by FIFT (Forest Industries Flying Tankers) in 1998 & still used today, for a few hundred dollars that would have cost several hundred thousand to buy. The improvement & continued safe operation of these flying boats would not have been possible without George’s expertise & dedication to good design practice & engineering excellence. In 1961, George & Jean moved to Richmond, BC, & George started Aerostructures Engineering, on his own, in the basement of their rented home. He met Douglas Moore of Aviation Sheet Metal & decided that he would produce Canadian designed & built floats. With nothing more than a drafting table, a slide rule & a copy of the FAA Technical Standard Order he designed the 3000″series of seaplane floats. Ron Cliff came on board to finance the new venture & Canadian Aircraft Products Ltd of Richmond BC was formed in 1964. George was vicepresident in charge of engineering & CAP soon established itself as a capable design & manufacturing supplier to major aircraft companies. George’s very successful 12000″ float was designed & built for the also very successful de Havilland Twin Otter. The need for product diversification then lead CAP to design-build the horizontal stabilizer for the Canadair Challenger aircraft, the basis for introduction of numerical control machining & other modern manufacturing processes at CAP. The next major project was the de Havilland Dash 8 horizontal stabilizer & vertical stabilizer rudders, requiring CAP to develop composites structures manufacturing capability. Numerous other projects were also accomplished over the years. Despite enormous responsibilities & many demanding situations, George was always calm & positive & was never intimidated by any engineering or production challenge. He preferred to be addressed by his first name & was always respectful & considerate of others. The introduction of computers & certainly the first application of the famous NASTRAN finite element modeling software used in western Canada are just two examples of the technology applications, learning opportunities & evolution of engineering in BC that were the result of George’s vision. Many engineers who passed through CAP’s doors & were mentored by George have gone on to steer the future activities of the Canadian aviation & aerospace industries. At its peak CAP employed over 240 people. Under the determined engineering leadership of George for over 20 years, CAP left a legacy of foundational engineering experiences & was a pioneer in the BC aviation industry. CAP’s products & reputation are still flying all over the world. In 1987 CAP was sold to Avcorp Industries & George & Jean eagerly pi9303retiredpi9304 back to Victoria, a lifelong goal. They found a lovely piece of sunny property on Curties Point in North Saanich, just down the road from three marinas, close to many friends & enjoyed 20 years next to the sea. Dad started G.W. Grover & Associates, in a basement again, & kept busy with modification & approval work for private & commercial aircraft. He was the first DAR (Design Approval Representative) appointed by Transport Canada, in the region. In 1996 Dad finally retired & turned his attention to pi9303messing about with boatspi9304 full-time. He had already built a small wooden cabin cruiser called Sea Babe back east years before & later on had carefully, beautifully & completely restored two wooden sloops, Nerita & Zena-C, in his back yard while living in Richmond. He continued to sail the Gulf Islands with friends & family, entered the Classic Wooden Boat Show & enjoyed his last sailboat Whinchat, a 42′ Seabird. Dad also circumnavigated Vancouver Island in her with an RVYC sailing group & journeyed north to Jervis Inlet. Dad could be working in the garage when a plane flew over & identify it & how it was being flown simply by the sound of the engines. Unfortunately health concerns required Dad & Mom to move to Sidney & in the last few years Dad coped patiently with both Parkinson’s & the effects of stroke. Dad was cared for at home as long as possible by Jean, Janet & compassionate caregivers Maureen, Sharon, Terry & Janyne. He died with family at his side in Saanich Peninsula Hospital. Thank you to Palliative Care nurses & Dr. Prowse & Dr. Hartrick. Dad was a kind, generous & humble man. He had a keen sense of justice & fair play. His analytical mind made him reasoned & articulate in conversation or debate & he always remained open-minded & congenial. He was never one to seek recognition for himself or take credit. Dad was a gentle & thoughtful man, reserved in any judgment of others & honourable in all facets of his life. He has left a mark that will not soon fade. Memorial service will take place on Saturday May 22, 2010 at 2pm at First Memorial, 4725 Falaise Dr. in Victoria. (250-658-5244).

Published by The Times Colonist from May 18 to May 21, 2010.

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