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The Superintendent announces with deep regret the death of Herbert Cornelius Graves, chief of the division of hydrography and topography, on July 26, 1919, at Winsford, County Somerset, England.

Captain Graves had been selected as a representative of the Coast and Geodetic Survey to attend the meeting of the International Conference of Hydrographic Experts in London, England, beginning June 24, 1919, and after that the meeting of the International Research Council to be held at Brussels, Belgium.

After the conclusion of the conference he was taken ill and went to Winsford for a rest and for a few days appeared much improved in health, and his death on the date mentioned was sudden and unexpected.

Herbert Cornelius Graves was the son of William Purdy and Lucy Malvina (Libby) Graves, and was born in Alexandria, Virginia on August 17, 1869. His education was obtained in the public schools and in the University of Virginia, from which he graduated in 1889, with the degree of civil engineer. After about 2 years of railroad, land, and city surveying he was city surveyor of Alexandria for 4 years.

He was nautical expert in the Hydrographic Office of the United States Navy at Cleveland, Ohio, until 1898, when he was appointed through the civil service nautical expert in the Coast and Geodetic Survey, entering upon that duty August 16, 1898, a position which he held until July 1, 1916, when he was transferred to the normal force as an assistant. On July 1, 1917, he was commissioned a hydrographic and geodetic engineer by the President.

Captain Graves was married to Clara Edith Walter, of Washington, D.C. on September 4, 1894, and leaves besides his widow, three sons, three daughters, and one grandchild. Two of the sons enlisted in the United States Army during the World War, and one served with the Army in France.

As nautical expert Captain Graves had charge of the necessary field and office revision and the publication of the coast pilot volumes issued by the Coast and Geodetic Survey. The accuracy and excellence of these volumes testify to his ability, faithfulness, and diligence.

On October 15, 1915, Captain Graves was appointed chief of the division of hydrography and topography, and since that date has planned and directed the field work of the vessels of the survey, as well as the wire-drag, topographic, tide, and current work.

He was enthusiastic, efficient, and untiring in the performance of his duties. His courteous treatment of those serving under him, his loyalty to those under whom he served, and his uniform kindliness compelled the love and friendship of all who knew him.


Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.
Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:27 AM

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