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Frank Stannard Fry

Rank: Private

Lifetime: 1881-1917

Reference: 325028

Private Frank Stannard Fry (325028) of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment died on 2 September 1917. He is buried at the Dozingham Military Cemetery.

Frank Stannard Fry’s birth was registered in the second quarter of 1881 according to the Register of Birth Marriages and Deaths. At the time of the 1891 Census he was aged 10 and living with his parents Walter Fry (39), whose occupation is listed as Builder and Registrar of Births & Deaths, and Emma Maria Fry (nee Tickell) aged 37 at 95 High Street, Hampton Wick. His father must have registered a large number of his own family’s arrivals as, besides Frank Stannard, there were a further six children crammed into the house. These comprised: Walter Henry Fry (18), occupation carpenter; Frederick Christopher Fry (16), a dentist’s assistant; Amelia Kate Fry (14), scholar; Jessie Lucy Fry (7); Florence Dora Fry (3); Stanley Theodore Fry (1). All the children had been born in Hampton Wick.

By the time of the 1901 Census, his father, Walter Fry, had died. His mother, Emma Maria Fry, a widow, is described as the head of a household at 2 Victoria Cottages (aka 95 High Street), Hampton Wick. The eldest son, Walter Henry,is now described as a carpenter/joiner working in his own business. Frederick is employed as a grocer. Frank Stannard is employed (possibly by his brother?) as a carpenter. The only other children living at the house are Jessie, Florence and Stanley. By this time, Amelia had moved out of the family home and is recorded on the 1901 Census as working as a ladies maid to the Witt family at Lansdowne House, Anlaby Road Teddington.

By the time of the next Census in 1911, Frank Stannard, described as an unmarried house decorator, was still living with the family in the same property (although it was now known by the slightly grander title of 2 Victoria Villas, High Street, Hampton Wick). It was getting less cramped though as another member of the family, Frederick Christopher, had moved out. He was living with his wife of 8 years, Edith Eleanor Fry, at 104 King’s Road, Kingston and still working as a Grocer’s assistant. Amelia Kate had married on 13 June 1906 at St John the Baptist a civil servant from East Molesey, James Henry Arnold, and moved to Sheffield with him.

According to his obituary in The Surrey Comet dated 12 September 1917, Private Frank Stannard Fry was an old boy of the Hampton Wick Endowed School. He had sung in the choir of the Parish Church in Hampton Wick for 28 years as bass soloist and was described as a “well built man of fine physique” who apparently was “much esteemed by all who knew him”.

Private Frank Stannard Fry’s Burnt Service record survived the Blitz and is kept at the National Archives. From the Attestation Form he completed on 10 December 1915 when he volunteered at Teddington, aged 34 and 9 months, to join the Reserves, we learn that he married Ada Minnie Howell, spinster, on 29 September 1912 at Hampton Wick. The couple had one daughter, Kathleen Maud, born on 4 January 19[?] and were living at 20 Field Lane, Teddington. He was still employed as a house decorator. He was 5’9” tall with a chest measurement of 39” (when expanded). He joined the Army Reserve (the 1st (Reserve) Garrison Battalion) immediately on 11 December 1915. Following a Medical conducted at Hounslow on 23 May 1916, by which time he appears to have lost three inches in height and an inch off his chest, he was passed as fit to join the Regular army, in spite of an intriguing comment by an officer rendered almost illegible through bomb damage, which appears to state: “This man is useless”. This could perhaps be due to an old injury to his left ankle referred to on his medical form.

On 3 June 1916 he joined the Suffolk Regiment moving between the 64th Battalion and the 14th Battalion on 1 January 1917. He left for France from Folkestone on 14 June 1917. Shortly afterwards, on 6 July 1917, he was transferred to the 1/8th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment with a new service number. He was a stretcher bearer and whilst on duty, according to his obituary, was “dangerously wounded in the thigh, arm and knee on 28 August 1917”. An operation was apparently necessary but nonetheless he died of his wounds on 2 September 1917 with notification being sent the following day to his regiment from the 4th Casualty Clearing Centre.

In a letter to his widow the Chaplain of the clearing station sought to comfort her by writing:

“The doctors and nurses assure me that he was too ill to feel much pain. All that skill, care and attention could do was done for him. He gave no message, but the very seriously wounded men hardly ever do. I prayed with him before his death, and he prayed for you and all he loved. His thoughts were full of you and all he loved up to the very end.”

His wife acknowledged receipt of the following personal effects sent to her on 11 February 1918: letters; photos; pipe; religious book; 2 wallets; purse; metal- big base- steel mirrors in base; tobacco pouch; leather belt; 1 frame note (defaced) and souvenirs.

Ada had moved to the Royal Paddocks, Hampton Wick by the time she received her husband’s effects in January 1918. To support herself and her daughter she was awarded a pension of 18 shillings and nine pence a week with effect from 11 March 1918. She was still living at this address on 8 July 1921 when she formally acknowledged receipt of her husband’s medals.

Stanley Theodore Fry

Rank: Private

Lifetime: 1890-1916

Reference: 682519

Private Stanley Theodore Fry (682519) of the 22nd (County of London) Battalion (The Queens) of the London Regiment died aged 26 on 8 October 1916. He is buried at the Warlencourt British Cemetery. Having been reported missing in September 1916, his mother was only, according to the obituary of his older brother Private Stannard Fry in the Surrey Comet dated 12 September 1917, notified in the summer of 1917 officially that Stanley had been presumed dead (nine months after his death).

He enlisted at Hampton Hill, giving his place of residence as Hampton Wick and initially joined the 5th Royal Fusiliers (under service number 5270).

He was born in the first quarter of 1890 (Source: Register of Birth, death & Marriages) and duly baptised on 23 February 1890 at St John the Baptist, Hampton Wick. His parents were Walter and Emma Maria Fry. He was Frank Stannard Fry’s younger brother and the youngest (fourth) son of the family. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 2 Victoria Villas (95 High Street), Hampton Wick, with the rest of the Fry clan which had been living there for many years. He was working, like his brother, as a decorator. Like his older brother, Walter, he had also been involved with the Parish Church for many years.

Private Stanley Fry died on 8 October 1916 following an attack at Warlencourt on the strategic prehistoric burial mound on the side of the Albert to Bapaume Road known as the Butte. He presumably died of his wounds as The Surrey Comet originally reported on 4 November 1916 that he had been wounded but stated that “no official information is obtainable either as to the nature of his wounds or whether he is in hospital in France or in this country.”

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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