Saturday, 2 April 2011

Polemos: Who was Lt.-Col. G.J.R. Glünicke?

Just as I had proved to myself that David Charles Ballinger Griffith was the inventor of POLEMOS, MSFoy threw me a primed intellectual hand grenade ... he discovered that Lt.Col (or is it Captain?) G.J.R. Glünicke lived in the same street as the Griffith family in 1898. He lived at 37 De Pays Avenue and they lived almost opposite at 14.

I am now on the trail of Lt.Col G.J.R. Glünicke. So far I have discovered that he was born in 1853 in Germany but later became a naturalised Briton, his first names were anglicised to George John Robert, and that in 1901 he was an Assistant Master at Bedford School. He was married (his wife was named Annie) and had three daughters (Marie, Georgie, and Kitty) and a son (Robert). Robert Charles Arthur Glünicke joined the Royal Marines, and eventually attained the rank of Major General. He served as ADC to King George VI during part of World War II and died in 1963.

According to the Royal Signal Association and British Army websites, Captain Glünicke was a retired German Army Engineer, and that he was the founder of the Bedford School Cadet Corps. It is hardly surprising that the Corps specialised as an Engineer unit. The unit flourished so well that in 1900 Captain Glünicke helped set up the 1st Bedfordshire RE (Volunteers). It had four companies (by 1902 this had increased to six companies), and Captain Glünicke was its first commanding officer.

Records indicate that he was living in the White Swan, 22 Fore Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire in 1908, and that by 1914 he was Bursar at Mill Hill School in Middlesex.

More news as and when it comes in ... again ...


  1. I am not going to guess what happens next, and I don't know how the dates line up with the publication of the game, but it does seem to me that if Glunicke and Griffith jointly invented Polemos, Glunicke provided the military input. Further, as ex-Offizierkorps, he will have had a background of Kriegsspiel and so on, which might well be an ancestor of the game.

    That was an example of me NOT guessing what happens next, by the way....

    Fun, this, isn't it?


  2. MSFoy,

    Although I never try to 'guess' where my researches will take me, your hypothesis is certainly one that has possibilities.

    What I need to find is some link between Glunicke and Griffith before their families are living in the same street in Bedford. So it will mean a trawl through the census returns looking for where Glunicke and his family lived before 1901.

    The games afoot!

    All the best,