Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 134,039 pages of information and 213,153 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Ernest Walter Hives (1886–1965) of Rolls-Royce
1886 April 21st. Born at 20 Cholmeley Road, Earley, Reading, the twelfth child of John William Hives, a factory clerk, of Reading, and his wife, Mary Washbourne.
Educated at Redlands School, Reading.
1903 After working in a Reading garage, Hives worked for C. S. Rolls and Co
Joined Napier and was there for three years
1908 Joined Rolls-Royce and was there for fifty years.
1913 January 29th. Married Gertrude Ethel (c1891–1961), daughter of John Alfred Warwick, a merchant navy captain, and his wife, Caroline Drusilla. They had four sons and three daughters.
1920 Appointed MBE
1930s Chief Experimental Engineer
1935 Awarded a gold medal of the Royal Aeronautical Society
1943 Appointed a Companion of Honour
1946 Appointed MD of Rolls-Royce
1950 Made a Baron
1957 Retires from Rolls-Royce
1965 April 24th. Lord Hives died age 79
1965 Obituary 
Lord Hives, CH (Hon. Member), died recently after a long illness. He was 79.
Formerly Chairman of Rolls-Royce, Lord Hives was responsible for the development of the Merlin engine which played such a large part in winning the Battle of Britain. In the 1930's the effort which he concentrated on liquid cooling for aero engines gave them supremacy over air-cooled types, particularly for fighter planes. The Merlin was used in such famous aircraft as the Hurricane and the Spitfire.
Starting work in the motor business of C. S. Rolls, Lord Hives soon demonstrated that he was a born engineer. He joined Rolls-Royce in 1908 and was behind many of its technical advances. His practical experience and sixth sense for the way things should be done, in addition to his dedicated attitude to his work, made him an inspiring leader. He was Chairman of the Company for many years, retiring in 1957.
Other interests included Chairmanship of the Industrial Development Board of Malta and of the National Council for Academic Awards.
His death robs aviation of an outstanding man and an engineering giant.