J. ['Jimmy'] Grover.

  J. Grover was a Hunts. Cyclist who came from Fletton, the exact date he joined the HCB is not recorded, but he held the HCB number of 3966, Serving in both the 2/1st Battalion and F Company of the 1/1st Battalion.  He gave his address as Belmont Terrace, Fletton when he was appointed as a member of the permanent staff of the HCB around the 27/2/1914.   By 11/12/1914 a local newspaper indicated that "He has received many congratulations for he is a popular with the new draft as Grover was with his companies of the first battalion at Fletton".
  He attended the first, and only camp, at Skegness in July 1914.

The diary includes his name ob two occasions:-

Friday 17th. (1st Camp. July 1914)

The camp of the Hunts. Cyclists Territorials at Skegness continues to be highly successful.. Everyone is in excellent health and spirits, and the effect of the drilling and instructions evident in the bearing of all ranks. Capt. Cook ( who all are pleased to learn, is soon to take his position as Major) arrived in the camp on Thursday night, and took command of F company. There is the usual round of drills and exercises daily, those who are fortunate enough to have cycles, working on the roads, and the remainder in the parade ground. There was a funny incident in the mess this morning. The Quartermaster ( by the way, Lieutenant Myers of the 42nd Highlanders the Black Watch -is as popular as he is proficient in his work ) was as usual making his enquiries as to whether all were satisfied, when a juvenile recruit caused his smile by innocently handing his plate to the officer and asking " Piece of bread, please!" The Colonel and all the officers attended the Sergeants’ mess concert to night, and the thing went with a capital swing under the chairmanship of the popular Sergeant- Major. Undoubtedly the success of the evening was Capt. Cook’s "Old King Cole," while Pte. H. Nicholls, of Fletton was splendid in his character songs. Colour Sergeant Grover started well, but finished all too soon ! By the way, it transpires that Lieutenant Myers and Sergeant Grover met in India, years ago.

Friday 24th. (1st Camp. July 1914)

Again a cold morning, and the pre-breakfast parade was wisely made a vigorous one. Musketry instruction followed the meal ; Instructor Grover gave an original and realistic lesson on " How to shoot from behind cover and not get shot." But Jimmy is as versatile in his work as in his less serious moments. Later a more or less elaborate "scheme" was carried out in and around Skegness. It was very well carried out, and showed how use can be made of the extreme mobility of Cyclists in dealing with "slower moving" forces. But here I must relate how a "slower moving force," ( but one of quick decision ), vanquished the Territorials. A company, it hailed from Fletton - was halted by the roadside near a cottage. Over the fence hung the branches of a tree bearing very hard, unripe pears. Boy - like, the youngsters helped themselves. Out came the irate lady of the house , and with good, honest, definite Lincolnshire expression, told them they were ill mannered heathen (she was right, in a degree). But she did not stop at words ; she quickly produced a bucket of water, and announced her intention of dousing the next pilferer. She certainly meant it, and the youths formed a discreet circle at a distance. The defence was well conceived, and was effective until the O. C. gave the order to move on. Friday concluded with another concert in the Sergeant’s Mess. Colour Sergeant Grover completed his song, and began another; several sang who had never sung before, and one or two who never should again. It was not such a "classy" concert as last week’s, but provided a rollicking evening.

  Peterborough Citizen 15 July 1914




To the numbers of between four and five hundred the Hunts Cyclists Battalion are in training at Skegness, the Peterborough end of the county contributing no fewer than three companies, Yaxley one and Fletton two. The camp is situated within easy walking distance of the sea and men and officers are taking full advantage of the bracing seaside resort. The Fletton companies paraded at headquarters on Sunday at nine o clock and headed by the Regimental band, the late Fletton Victoria, marched to the Great Northern Station, where they had a splendid send-off, but not quite so enthusiastic as the Ramsey contingent got, for when they were entraining practically the population of the old Fen town turned out and smothered them with confetti. The local officers in camp are Lieut-Col. Herbert, Capt Musk. Lieuts. Warwick, Rowe and Mellows, and Capt Cook are expected to join them on Wednesday. The following promotions of the Fletton Corps have appeared in Orders: - Privates H. Dawson, J. F. Thurley, and W.W. Castle. A Pywell, F. J. Tinkler (F Coy): Lance-Corpl. A. Pegg. Privates, L. Saunders P. Mumford, F. Bradley (G Coy.) to be corporals.

At present there has not been much of interest, the battalion being mainly composed of recruits; the time being taken up with company drill and a little skirmishing. The officers have proved themselves extremely popular, especially Capt. Musk, who years ago was a sergeant in the old Bedfordshire's. Col-Sergt. Inst. Grover, who has borne the brunt of getting the two companies in such a high state of efficiency to which they have attained, has received the congratulations of his officers and there is no man more popular in the whole Battalion than "Jimmy" Grover. There is only one man in the camp who sleeps in a bed and he is attached to the Lincolnshire Regiment. The whole Battalion, although they had the option of beds, refused them being content to sleep on a waterproof and blankets.

  The Hunts. Cyclist Reserve Battalion has now been formally recognised by the War Office. Lt. Col. J. L. Stanley, the newly appointed commanding officer, has entered upon his duties and at the training of the men is being a put upon a definite footing. Lieutenant Wootton has been appointed as acting adjutant and Color Sergeant Grover as acting Sergeant Major. Captain Welstead and Lieutenant Meredith were gazetted on Tuesday. The men are kept actively employed in company drill, musketry instruction, route marching and physical exercises, whilst the N. C. O. promotion classes, held nightly, are largely attended. It is hoped that the bulk of the men will received a uniforms next week. Large consignments of equipment having already been received. A good number of bicycles, which are being supplied by the Humber Company, have been delivered. Lord Sandwich has placed Hinchingbrooke Park that the disposal of the Battalion for drill purposes, Portholme, owing to the heavy rains, being unsuitable at the present time. It is understood that the list of promotions will be issued shortly.  
  He was a keen sportsman and his name appears several tines in respect of sporting events.

From the local paper, possibly the 'Hunts Post' dated - 29-1-1915 - "Lieutenant W. Garne has been elected captain of Hunts. Cyclists Hockey Club with Colour Sergeant Stafford as secretary and treasurer. The Committee consists of Lieutenant Pentalow, Lieutenant Beeby, Sergeant - Major Grover and Private C. Boden."

From the local paper, possibly the 'Hunts Post' dated - 5-2-1915 = "CYCLISTS AT HOCKEY" "The Hunts. Cyclist Battalion hockey team played the return match with Peterborough Town on Saturday at Peterborough. The tables were turned and Peterborough won four - two. The Cyclists made two changes from their previous winning team, Lieutenant G. Coleman and Pte. Taylor being absent and their places taken by Sergeant Shepperson and Pte. Norman. Play was pretty even, but the Cyclists did not play as well as in their first match, Lieutenant Gorse going from centre forward to center half made a great difference to the van, which did not get going until he returned. Peterborough were fortunate in having their first two goals allowed. The scorers were, Bert Wilson (3) and English; Cyclists. Pte. C. Boden and Sergeant Bonnett. Hunts. Pte. Norman ; Lieutenant Pentelow and Colour Sergeant Stafford ; Corp. Taylor ; Lieutenant Garne and Corp. Mann ; Pte. Parr, Sergeant - Major Grover, Sergeant Bennett, Pte. C. Boden, and Sergeant Shepperson."

At the annual sports meeting held on Saturday for the 2/1st Battalion held in Lincolnshire [ just before 31st August 1917 ], he was noted as being a Regimental Sergeant Major and Starter, the prizes for this event, were presented by Mrs. J. L. Stanley.

  He was one of a conducting party of 2.1 Battalion that escorted the draft that was sent on the 26 July 1916. He was rationed up to and for 27 July 1916, inclusive. Battalion orders 29 July 1916, Well Camp Alford. He was a Col. Sergt. in 1/1st HCB - F Company -  July 1914. Regt. Sergt. Major J. Grover 3966 - Under Battalion orders 171, issued by Captain J. C. S. Musk, officer commanding 2/1st Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion issued at Well camp, Alford, Lincs. on 28th July 1916 at 8:00 p.m., and signed by W. L. Stephenson (Second Lieutenant and acting adjutant), orders being for the following day i.e. 29th July 1916 (Ref: 159), records indicate that he was one of the men that was to act as part of the "conducting party" for the draft on 26/7/1916. They were all rationed up to and including 27/7/1916. At the time he was in D company.
. R S M  - J. Grover attended the re-union of the H. C. B. 'old boys' held in the 'Golden Lion' Stanground on Friday 4th, November 1932.

His medals in a private collection are named to 3966 - J. Grover - in addition to the above he held  the 1895 India General Service Medal with 'Relief of Chitral' bar to Pte. Bedford Regt.; the Long Service & Good Conduct [Edward VII] to Colour Sergt. Bedford Regiment; and the Meritorious Service Medal [George V] to C. S. M. Hunts Cyclist Battalion.

If you can help with any data on this Huntingdonshire Cyclist please contact me at huntscycles@btinternet.com

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. . Martyn Smith ©