Richard Fry

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Captain Richard Noel Fry, MC, Croix de Guerre (22 May 1924 - 11 October 2016) was a British Army officer who was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry whilst serving with the 8th (Midlands) Parachute Battalion in the Battle for Normandy, during the Second World War. He later became a Schoolmaster at Christ's Hospital, Horsham, Sussex. He was appointed a Chevalier of the Legion d'honneur in July 2016.

Fry was born at Malden, Essex and was educated at St Albans School, Hertfordshire.[1] He was granted an Emergency Commission in the Royal Armoured Corps in July 1943. He later volunteered to serve with Airborne Forces and was posted to 8 Parachute Battalion, 3rd Parachute Brigade, part of 6th Airborne Division.[1]

On D-Day, 6 June 1944, Fry as platoon commander No 3 platoon Letter A Company landed near the Bois de Bavent, north-east of Caen before the main assault on the Normandy beaches began.[1] Fry and his platoon moved towards Le Mesnil and were engaged in setting ambushes for German tanks and vehicles; resulting in major disruption to the enemy. His platoon was then deployed to hold the village of Le Mesnil.[2] On 16 June his platoon came under repeated heavy attacks at Le Mesnil from enemy mortar, shelling, machine gunfire and snipers over a period of eight hours. An extract from the citation for the award of the Military Cross to Fry reads: " that it was due to his courage and leadership that they had held the position."[1] He was later wounded in Normandy. He served in the Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge and in Operation Varsity: the airborne operation over the River Rhine. After the Second World War he served in Palestine and left the Army in 1948.[1]

Fry farmed in Somerset in 1949.[2] He then joined the Metropolitan Police and served with Special Branch. He took a degree in Zoology at Birbeck College, University of London and was a Schoolmaster at Christ's Hospital, Horsham, Sussex, from 1957 to 1989. He retired to Lyme Regis, Dorset.[1]

In July 2016, Fry was appointed a Chevalier of the Legion d'honneur for his role in the Liberation of France in the Second World War.[2]

He married Jeannie Brunskill-Davies in 1952 with whom he was to have a son and daughter.[2]

Captain Richard Fry MC, Croix de Guerre died on 11 October 2016.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Richard Fry, won MC in Normandy – obituary". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Richard Fry". thetimes.co.uk. Retrieved 15 December 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Allen, Peter (1980). One More River: The Rhine Crossings of 1945. J.M. Dent ISBN 978-0460043786.
  • Beevor, Antony (2009). D-Day: The Battle for Normandy. Viking ISBN 978-0241968970.
  • Beevor, Antony (2016). Ardennes 1944. Penguin ISBN 978-0-241-97515-2.
  • Harclerode, Peter (2002) Go to it! The Illustrated History of 6 Airborne Division. London: Caxton Publishing ISBN 978-1-84067136-0.
  • Norton, G (1984). The Red Devils. The history of the Parachute Regiment 1940 - 1982. (Famous Regiments Series Leo Cooper) ISBN 9780436315251.
  • Ryan, Cornelius (1959). The Longest Day. Simon & Schuster ISBN 978-0671890919.