S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science




Olver, Mr John Sobey (geology)

Born: 1872, St Mabyn, Cornwall, United Kingdom.
Died: 16 December 1933, Rustenburg, South Africa.

John Sobey Olver, mining engineer, was the son of Richard Sobey Olver and his wife Mary. He did military service in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) as a trooper in the 27th (Devonshire) Company, 7th Battalion, of the Imperial Yeomanry. In 1909 he resided in Johannesburg and became a member of the Geological Society of South Africa. (His membership lapsed between 1915 and 1920). Towards the end of his life he resided in Rustenburg. He was not married.

Olver made several contributions to knowledge of the geology of the Witwatersrand, starting with Faults and dykes; a geological study of the Witwatersrand (Cape Town, 1911, 298 pp). Later he published articles in the South African Mining and Engineering Journal, dealing with 'The Boksburg gap' (1924, in 2 parts); 'The problem of Rand geology' (1925-1926, in 8 parts; and 1931); 'The human element in Rand geology' (1927, in 4 parts); and three more on the economic aspects of mining on the Witwatersrand (1927-1928).


List of sources:

Devon Heritage, at http://www.devonheritage.org/index.htm Select Devon's 2nd Boer War Roll of Honour and search for Olver.

Hall, A.L. A bibliography of South African geology. Pretoria: Geological Survey, Memoirs No. 18 (1922), 25 (1927), 27 (1931), and 30 (1937).

National Archives Repository (TAB), Source MHG, Vol. 0, Ref. 85134. Death notice, John Sobey Olver.

Proceedings of the Geological Society of South Africa, 1915, Vol. 18, list of members.

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979.


Compiled by: C. Plug


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