In memoriam: Eric Grove


Early in May, 2008 Eric Grove died, after a brief and stubborn, but ultimately insurmountable battle with cancer. He was 87. In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place and there was no funeral. An obituary was published in the Hamilton Spectator on 2008-5-24.

Warrant Officer Eric Grove (RAF Ret.) was a Lancaster captain (pilot) in 166 Squardon, Bomber Command during WWII. His lifelong love of aviation gave him tremendous joy but also subjected him to the horrific life of a Prisoner of War at Stalag IV-B in Germany. His experiences in war and as a POW are documented in a DVD that was produced by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (that's Eric, circa 1943, on the cover of the DVD). The Hamilton MountainNews, in its story about Eric's passing [PDF, HTML] recounts some of the life of a POW that are documented in the DVD.

In civilian life he was a member of many aviation organizations, including:

He was particularly proud of his membership in the Canadian Civil Air Search & Rescue organization, where he actively participated in search and rescue operations.

Eric was an avid supporter of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's Mynarski Lancaster project, have been instrumental in moving the aircraft from Goderich to Hamilton in the 1970s to begin the restoration project. In 2005, with the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII, Eric was featured in local media stories about the experiences of veterans.

Eric started his professional career in England where he was a Surveyor and Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (1948). In 1953 he achieved the Diploma in Town and Country Planning from The Polytechnic (London). His thesis was "Helicopter Sites in City Centres", anticipating the day when helicopters might enable travellers to move directly from city-centre to city-centre. In 1954 he became a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Coming to Canada in 1955, Eric worked for the Canadian and Ontario governments as a Town Planner. In 1956 he joined the Town Planning Institute of Canada (now the Canadian Institute of Planners), and in 1994 became a Member of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute. His interests in ecology, sustainable development and preservation of natural resources made him a "green advocate" decades before "green" entered our collective social consciousness.

Eric is survived by his grandson Phil, sons Peter and Trevor (with Martha) and his sister Edna Robertson and her children David, Lucy and Susan. He was predeceased by his parents Mary and Frank and his brother Bertie.

As expressions of sympathy, donations in Eric's name to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, 9280 Airport Road, Mount Hope L0R 1W0, would be sincerely appreciated by the family.


If you have a story or remberance of Eric, or wish to express your condolences, please send to