Ethel Robb Swindel Groat, 89, an actress and "pin-up" beauty in England during World War I and a Washington resident since 1962, died Monday at her home here. She had a heart ailment.

Born in Manchester, England, Mrs. Groat was a repertory actress who toured the British Isles under the name of Ethel Monton. During World War I, her photographs were sold to help buy cigarettes for British soldiers.

Mrs. Groat came to this country in the early 1920s. She lived in Washington during the late 1920s, when her husband, Carl D. Groat, was the United Press bureau chief here. She then lived in New York and in Cincinanti, where Mr. Groat was editor of the Cincinnati Post for more than 20 years. He died in 1953.

She was a member of the National Press Club.

Survivors include two daughters, Mavis Mcghee, of Anchorage, Ky., and Barbara Macarthur, of Grand Blanc, Mich, and four granddaughters.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Americana Historical Furnishings Project at the Department of State or to the Scripps-Howard Foundation. CAPTION: Picture, Copies of this photograph of Mrs Groat, an early "pin-up" beauty whose stage name was Ethel Monton, were sold during World War I to help buy cigarettes for British soldiers.