|COLONEL GEORGE BROMLEY
George Bromley Boulderson Groube was born on the 22nd of May,
1810, at Fort St. George, Madras, and was christened on the 25th of
August, 1810. His father was Captain (later Rear-Admiral) Thomas
Groube of the Royal Navy and his mother was Anna Maria (nee
Dodson) of Devon.
George received the usual classical and mathematical education. He
was a pupil of the Rev. R. Lewis at Honiton, Devon.
George was nominated as a cadet for the EIC 5th Madras Light
Cavalry for the 1825 season by EIC Director William Stanley Clarke
at the request of his father, Captain T. Groube, R.N. He arrived in
India on the 7th of November, 1826 and after a short period of time
was posted to the 5th Madras Cavalry which was then serving at
Secunderabad. Inexplicably, the date of Groube’s commission as a
cornet is given in several sources as the 8th of January, 1856, a date
prior to even his nomination for a commission.
His service papers indicate that Groube himself asked for
confirmation of the date of his commission at one point during his
At the time of Groube’s appointment to the 5th Madras Light Cavalry, the East India Company had long been in control of the
territory that made up the Madras Presidency. The Madras Presidency was to some extent the backwater of military life in
India. Unlike the Bengal regiments, service by an officer in a Madras Regiment was unlikely to involve active field service.
Generally, even for a junior officer, life was easy and rather routine, perhaps even mundane, with a large part of an officer’s
time being taken up with sports and hunting.
Groube’s service record is replete with unusually glowing reports from his superior officers regarding Groube’s above
average intellect, his zealousness and resourcefulness and his general fitness as an officer. He was also reported to speak
Hindustani and some Persian.
George Groube was promoted to Lieutenant on the 2nd of May, 1832. At that time, the 5th Madras Light Cavalry was
stationed at Arcot. He was promoted Captain on the 8th of January, 1841, when his regiment was stationed at Bellary, and
appointed Quartermaster and Interpreter to his Corps in March of 1844. Captain Groube participated in the arduous
campaigning in the Southern Mahratta Country in 1844-45, a campaign for which no medals were sanctioned.
On the 20th of June, 1854, George Groube was promoted to Major in the 5th Madras Light Cavalry. The regiment was then
stationed at Kamptee.
On the 10th of May, 1857 the sowars of the 3rd Bengal Light Cavalry rose against their British officers at the military
cantonment at Meerut in Northern India. The mutiny quickly spread to other Bengal regiments and soon the majority of the
native regiments in the Bengal Presidency had either mutinied or been disarmed.
While only a few Madras regiments were ordered into service in the suppression of the Mutiny in northern India (the 1st
Madras Fusiliers being a notable example), several were involved in the Central India campaign. The 5th Madras Light
Cavalry was one of those regiments.
During the Mutiny, Major Groube commanded a Squadron of the 5th Madras Light Cavalry as part of the Kurnool Movable
Column. He commanded the entire Column from the 9th of November to the 27th of December, 1857. He was then employed
with the Bellary Field Force until November of 1858.
For his service during the Mutiny, George Groube was received the Indian Mutiny medal without clasp, named to him as a
Major in the 5th Madras Light Cavalry. It was the only campaign medal he was to receive. In addition, he was promoted to
The 5th Madras Light Cavalry was disbanded in 1861 after the reorganization of the Army following the transfer of the EIC
regiments to the Crown. George Groube, then seconded to the 2nd Madras Cavalry was promoted Colonel and retired on the
31st of December, 1861, with over 32 years of service. The Times reported that Colonel Groube arrived in England at
Southhampton on the Peninsular and Oriental Company’s screw steamer Ellora on the 12th of February, 1862.
George Groube had married Charlotte Carne Boulderson (born 1 May 1816 at Falmouth, Cornwall) on the 18th of May, 1841, at
Maharashtra, India. They had the following twelve children:
- Catherine Charlotte: born 15 June 1842; married William Naylor Carne on 1 October 1863; died 25 November 1878
at St. Agnes, Cornwall.
- Thomas: born 1 October 1843 at Shoolapoor; Lieutenant-Colonel 7th Royal Fusiliers entitled to India General Service
medal with clasp for Umbeyla; died 1906.
- Emma: born 1845; died 1846.
- Edward Montague: born 31 July 1846.
- Emma: born 1847; died 1848.
- William: born 1847; died 1848.
- William Henry Boulderson: born 1 April 1850; drown 10 June 1864 at Bedford, Bedfordshire in a tragic accident.
- Horatio Frederick Dodson: born 26 August 1851.
- Francis Edmund: born 10 November 1852; served in the Royal Navy.
- Herbert Leslie: born 4 March 1854.
- Montague Cecil: born 5 April 1855.
- Ernest Sinclair: born 12 August 1856.
Following his retirement, Colonel Groube lived at Bedford, but spent the last years of his life at Combe Raleigh, Devon
(curiously, neither George nor his wife appear in the 1871 census.) Charlotte Carne Boulderson Groube died there on the 1st
of March 1878. Colonel George Bromley Boulderson Groube did not live long after the death of his wife, also dying at Combe
Raleigh less than a month and a half later on the 14th of April, 1878. He was a month shy of his 68th birthday.