Major John Lawrence Dampier, MBE was born in Strathroy, Ontario 29 December 1914, son of Lawrence and Edith Dampier. He attended Ridley College in St Catherines and received a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario. On 17 June 1939 he married his wife, Hilda.
He joined The Queen’s Own Rifles (Militia) in 1936 while attending University. He commissioned in 1938 and was one of the June 1940 “potato sackers” that enlisted for active service in the 1st Battalion.
Dampier served in Newfoundland and Sussex, New Brunswick and embarked with the battalion for England in 1941. He was promoted Captain in 1942 and attached to the Canadian Officer Cadet Training unit as a company commander. In 1943 he was transferred to staff duties, appointed Operations Officer (Ops O) at 3rd Canadian Infantry Division headquarters, and was involved in planning for the D-Day invasion. He attended the British Army Staff College at Camberley, England in early 1944 and subsequently promoted major.
He returned to his position as Ops O (GSO II) with the 3rd Division and serve in that capacity for the remainder of the war in France, Belgium and Holland, and was appointed Brigade Major of the 7th Infantry Brigade in May 1945.
On 11 October 1945 he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). He was also made an Officer of the Order of Nassau with Crossed Swords by the Netherlands government 22 December 1945.
On the civilian side, after graduating university in 1936, Larry joined Lever Brothers Ltd. in Toronto and in New York. In 1956 he was invited to move to Vancouver as the Assistant Publisher of the Vancouver Sun. Ten years later, he was appointed Vice-President and General Manager of Nabob Foods Ltd. His directorships included BC Bearing Engineers Ltd., Northwest Sports Enterprises, Nabob Foods Ltd., Jacobs Suchard Canada Ltd., and Pope & Talbot Inc. (Portland, Oregon). Over the years Larry served as president of Vancouver Board of Trade, the Vancouver Public Aquarium Association, the Vancouver Club and the National Council of the Boy Scouts of Canada. He was a governor of the Vancouver Foundation and a director of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
He died in Vancouver on 26 January 2002.