George Edward Gouraud MOH

b. 30/06/1842 Niagara Falls, New York. d. 20/02/1912 Vesey, Switzerland.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 30/11/1864 Honey Hill, South Carolina.

George E Gouraud MOH

He was the son of the French engineer Francis Fauvel Gouraud (1808–1847) who came to the US in 1839 to introduce the daguerrotypes technology for photography. Both parents died in the summer of 1847. Gouraud fought for the United States Army during the Civil War 1861–1865, and received the Medal of Honor for bravery as a captain with the 3rd New York Volunteer Cavalry on November 30, 1864. He was later brevetted lieutenant colonel.

He became affiliated with Thomas Edison and moved with his family to London in 1873 to act as Edison’s agent in Europe. As an enthusiast of new electric inventions, he had many such gadgets installed in his house at Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood, in South London, which became known as “Little Menlo” after Menlo Park, New Jersey where Edison’s company was situated in the United States.

In 1888, Thomas Edison sent his “Perfected” Phonograph to Gouraud in London and on 14 August 1888, Gouraud introduced the phonograph to London in a press conference, including the playing of a piano and cornet recording of Arthur Sullivan’s “The Lost Chord”, one of the first recordings of music ever made. Gouraud assembled a small team of recordists who travelled the country promoting the phonograph and were also involved in taking the voices of many great Victorians. In 1890 he conceived the making of three cylinder records of personalities related to the Crimean War to be played for charity in aid of distressed old soldiers from that campaign. On May 15, 1890, Charles Stytler travelled to Freshwater the Isle of Wight to record Lord Tennyson (1809–1892) reading The Charge of the Light Brigade.

In 1898 Gouraud met Horace Short, youngest of the three Short Brothers of later aviation fame and for two years financed his researches into compressed-air amplification in Hove, Sussex, England. The invention—an improvement on Edison’s Aerophone of 1878—was named the Gouraudphone and demonstrated at the Exposition Universelle (1900) in Paris. In 1900 Horace introduced his brothers Eustace and Oswald to Gouraud who also financed them and gave them workshop space at Hove to develop their balloons intended for military observation. By 1904 Gouraud was the “Governor General” of French sugar millionaire Jacques Lebaudy’s fictional “Empire of the Sahara” and speaking of offering his son’s regiment, the 17th Lancers, as Lebaudy’s Guard of Honour. In 1909 he went bankrupt.

George Gouraud died in 1912 in Vevey, Switzerland, only a week after his son Bayard Gouraud had died from a heart failure while returning home to England from India where he served in the 17th Lancers, a cavalry regiment of the British Army.



While under severe fire of the enemy, which drove back the command, rendered valuable assistance in rallying the men.