S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Grist, Albert George (veterinary science)

Born: 26 March 1871, Torquay, Devon, England.
Died: 9 May 1962, Devon, England.

Albert G. Grist qualified as a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS) at the London Veterinary College in 1892. He came to South Africa as a civil veterinary surgeon with the Army Veterinary Department during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). Remaining behind at the conclusion of the war he was appointed assistant veterinary surgeon of the Orange River Colony (now the Free State) in August 1903 and in July 1906 succeeded Thomas Flintoff* as principal veterinary officer of the Colony. He was stationed in Bloemfontein. In January 1909 he attended the Pan African Veterinary Congress held in Pretoria to correspond with the official opening of the Veterinary Bacteriological Laboratories at Onderstepoort. After the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 he became a senior veterinary surgeon in the Union Department of Agriculture. Later he practised in Queenstown.

During 1818-1819 and again during 1923-1926 Grist was veterinarian to the Bloemfontein Turf Club. He was an excellent horseman and very fond of riding, jumping and hunting, acted as a judge at many jumping competitions and still rode in a gymkhana at the age of 73. An article by him on "The conformation of the horse and some defects of the animal" appeared in the Agricultural Journal of the Union of South Africa (1911, Vol. 2).

Grist was a member of the Transvaal Veterinary Medical Association until 1920, when his membership was transferred to the newly established South African Veterinary Medical Association. He retired at the end of 1927 and went farming near the railway station Tweedie (just north-west of Howick) in KwaZulu-Natal, but retained his registration as a veterinarian. In 1936 he visited England and took a post-graduate course at the London Veterinary College. Returning in 1937 he settled at Cowies Hill, near Durban, where he built up a lucrative practice. In 1946 his prescription pads, for unknown reasons, referred to him as Bertram Grist. He returned to England temporarily in 1955 and finally retired to Devon in 1959.

List of sources:
Albert George Grist. Journal of the South African Veterinary Medical Association, 1962, Vol. 33(3), p. 423.

Agricultural Journal (Union of South Africa), 1911, Vol. 2, article by Grist.

Curson, H.H. The veterinary profession in South Africa: (3) Professional Veterinary Medical Societies. Journal of the South African Veterinary Medical Association, 1931, Vol. 2(1), pp. 3-22.

Journal of the South African Veterinary Medical Association, 1927, Vol. 1(1), pp. 84-85, List of members; 1929, Vol. 1(3), pp. 77-83, Register of veterinarians of the Union of South Africa.

Orange River Colony. Civil service list, 1910.

Orange River Colony, Department of Agriculture. Report, 1905/6, 1906/7, 1907/8, 1908/9, 1909/10.

Posthumus, P.J. An index of veterinarians in South Africa, 4th ed. Pietermaritzburg: P.J. Posthumus, 1982.

Union of South Africa. Public service list, 1914.

Compiled by: C. Plug