GROSVENOR, Corporal Peter Milton (RAAF 115245)

Studio portrait of 115245 Corporal Peter Milton GROSVENOR, the photographer is unknown. From the Brenda GROSVENOR family collection.

Peter Milton GROSVENOR was born at Victor Harbor on 17 October 1921, the eldest of four children of Clifford Ivo GROSVENOR and Lilian GROSVENOR (nee ARCHER).

    Peter was educated at the Inman Valley Public School (1933-1934), followed by two years at Victor Harbor High School (1935-1936). After leaving school he worked for his father on the family dairy farm, Rosebank, at Inman Valley. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on 23 July 1942 and undertook his initial training at No 1 Recruit Depot (RD) at Shepparton (Vic).

On 15 August 1942, Peter’s younger brother, Robert, enlisted in the air force and was mustered for air-crew training. He was later killed in a flying accident on 29 March 1944 whilst serving with 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit in the United Kingdom. He is buried in Harrogate Cemetery. 

    Peter’s father, Cliff, had served in the First World War. He enlisted in the 2nd AIF on 20 September 1940 and later served in New Guinea. Immediately after the Japanese surrender, Cliff, now a Warrant Officer, served with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in Japan. He died following an accident just after his return to Australia on leave in May 1947. Cliff is buried in the Sydney War Cemetery.

    Mustered for training as a cypher assistant, Peter underwent further training at Headquarters North Eastern Area (NEA) Command on 5 October 1942. This HQ commanded air force bases in Central and Northern Queensland and Papua New Guinea. In April 1943, Peter was posted to No 12 Signals Unit at Townsville; one month later, he was transferred to No 20 Signals Unit, also based in Townsville. Peter was promoted Acting Corporal on 2 June 1943 and was allowed to retain that rank in his subsequent postings. 

    On 4 September, No 20 Signals Unit was redesignated as No 1 Signals Task Unit (STU). In December 1943, Peter was transferred to No 1 Reserve Personnel Pool (RPP) in Burt Street, Townsville in advance of his transfer to No 10 Signals Unit, which was based in the Konedobu area of Port Moresby. He remained with that unit until June 1944 when his next posting was to No 60 Operational Base Unit (OBU) in the Northern Territory, followed by a stint with No 55 OBU. In December 1944, Peter was with the Adelaide Wireless Traffic Unit (W/T) at Gawler (SA). On 15 November 1944, Peter was charged under section 40 of Air Force Regulation for not wearing a tie; the NCO who brought about the charge was a Corporal J.M. SIEVEWRIGHT. The charge was subsequently admonished by the Adjutant of Gawler Telecommunications Unit, Flight Lieutenant K. BALMER.

    Peter remained with the unit until April 1945 when he was transferred to No 53 OBU. He sought an Occupational Release from the RAAF on the grounds of returning to work on the family’s dairy farm at Inman Valley. Approval of the application was deferred at first due to a shortage of cypher assistants at his unit. Approval was subsequently given and Peter was discharged on 8 May 1945.

    In 1948, Peter married Brenda Mary MAIDMENT-WILSON, there were four children of the marriage. Peter took over the family farm at Inman Valley. In 1970, Peter and Brenda purchased a property near Penola and in 1972, they sold Rosebank and moved to Penola.

In later years Peter went with Apex to Mount Hagen, New Guinea and built a school (along with Warren Parsons, Brian Waye, etc). Peter died on 19 December 2001 and was buried in Penola Cemetery.

The family memorial card Robert’s parents had printed for the memorial service held for Robert. Cliff’s brother-in-law, Peter MILNES, publisher of the Victor Harbour Times, printed the cards for Cliff.
Article from The Victor Harbour Times, edition of Friday, 9 March 1945.
Celebrating the end of the Second World War following the surrender of Japan. Peter is one of these three men celebrating in front of the Hotel Crown, Warland Reserve, Victor Harbor.


Service file of 115245 Peter Milton GROSVENOR purchased from the National Archives of Australia.

Meeting with Mrs Brenda GROSVENOR and Mrs Julie (nee GROSVENOR, daughter of Peter and Brenda), Penola June 2009.

Compiled by the Victor Harbor RSL History Research Team, January 2020.