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 Charles Frederick William Grover-Williams

Charles Frederick William Grover-Williams

Birth
Death 18 Mar 1945 (aged 42)
Burial Body lost or destroyed
Memorial ID 13026923 · View Source
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Charles Frederick William Grover-Williams, (January 16, 1903 – March 18, 1945), was a Grand Prix motor racing driver and war hero.Born of an English father and a French mother in the Montrouge suburb of Paris, France, Charles Grover-Williams grew up fluent in both the French and English languages. When World War I broke out, his family moved to Monaco where he got a job as a chauffeur. Mechanically inclined, and fascinated by motorized vehicles, Grover-Williams bought a motorcycle and began racing. Returning to Paris, in 1919 he worked as the chauffeur for the famous Irish war artist Sir William Orpen (1878-1931).By 1926 Charles Grover had begun racing a Bugatti car in races throughout France, entering the Grand Prix de Provence at Miramas and the Monte Carlo Rally. In 1928 he won the French Grand Prix, repeating that feat again in 1929. That same year, driving a Bugatti 35B, painted in what would become known as British racing green, he won the inaugural Monaco Grand Prix beating the heavily favored Mercedes car driven by the great German driver, Rudolf Caracciola.In November of 1929 Grover-Williams married Yvonne Aubicq, Sir William Orpen's former mistress whom he had met when chauffeuring the two around Paris. Successful financially, they maintained a home in a fashionable district of Paris while owning a large house in the resort town of La Baule in the Pays de la Loire on the Bay of Biscay which was home to one of the annual Grand Prix races. In 1931 he won the Belgian Grand Prix and he won the Grand Prix de la Baule three consecutive years from 1931 to 1933 but after that his career waned and he was out of racing by the latter part of the 1930s.Following the Nazi occupation of France in World War II, Grover-Williams fled to England where he joined the Royal Army Service Corps. Because he was a French citizen and because of his fluency in both languages, he was recruited into the Special Operations Executive of the French Resistance working with two other French Grand Prix race drivers, Robert Benoist and Jean-Pierre Wimille. In May of 1942, he was parachuted into France where he made his way to a small apartment in the Trocadéro in the 16ème arrondissement, Paris. Grover-Williams worked in the Paris region to build up a successful circuit of operatives, forming sabotage cells and reception committees for parachute operations.In June of 1943, Charles Grover-Williams was arrested by the Sicherheitsdienst and shipped to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp outside Berlin, Germany. There, prisoners died in violent medical experiments or were executed. Nearly 100,000 people died from exhaustion, disease, malnutrition and pneumonia. In the Spring of 1945, prior to the liberation of the camp by Allied forces, the SS forced the prisoners to march to other camps further west. Most of the totally exhausted prisoners did not survive this last march; collapsing prisoners were shot by the SS guards. It is said that of those executed only weeks before the war's end was Charles Grover-Williams although there is evidence in the British public record to indicate that he actually survived the war.Grover-Williams is recorded on the Brookwood Memorial in Surrey, England and as one of the SOE agents who died for the liberation of France, he is listed on the "Roll of Honour" on the Valençay SOE Memorial in the town of Valençay, in the Indre departément of France.Major career wins:Belgian Grand Prix 1931 French Grand Prix 1928, 1929 Grand Prix de la Baule 1931, 1932, 1933 Monaco Grand Prix 1929


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  • Created by: 380W
  • Added: 15 Jan 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13026923
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Frederick William Grover-Williams (16 Jan 1903–18 Mar 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13026923, ; Maintained by 380W (contributor 46522718) Body lost or destroyed.