Henry Phillip FRY was a Grazier from Donnybrook WA, prior to enlisting for service in the Great War on 2nd October 1914. His leadership qualities were immediately evident and he was appointed to the rank of Lieutenant with the 7th Light Horse Regiment. Fry had previously been identified by Lt. Col. BRAZIER to be part of a ” Horse Board “, to take part in the initial selection of horses for the Regiment.
During training in WA, Lieutenant Fry was transferred to the 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment, being promoted to the rank of Captain on 16th January 1915. After a further three weeks in training, getting to know his men, he embarked from Fremantle on the troop ship ‘ Mashobra “. On 4th March 1915, Captain Fry and his men disembarked at Alexandria Egypt, to shortly undergo the exhaustive physical training ,that was to occupy their time, in the uncomfortable environment of the day.
On 16th May 1915, Captain Fry embarked from Alexandria Egypt, with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces, bound for the Gallipoli Peninsula. Within 2 weeks, Fry was cut down with a serious bout of Influenza, firstly being transferred to a Hospital ship off Gallipoli, then evacuated to No. 2 Australian General Hospital Ghezireh Egypt. On discharge from Hospital, Captain Fry was shipped to Gallipoli once more, arriving on 22nd June 1915.
Fry was a very popular officer amongst his men and his peers, and he received a wholehearted welcome on return from sickness. He soon reported that NCO’s needed to be commissioned in the field quickly. He felt that appointments should be fast tracked, to assist in maintaining order and to enable proper distribution of command. Fry was an influential leader of men, playing a vital role in actions during the two months following his return to Gallipoli.
During late August 1915, Lieut. Hugo Throssell ( subsequent Victoria Cross Award Winner ) noted in his diary: ” Looking up, I saw Captain Fry running up and down helping and encouraging the men ,regardless of his own danger. I yelled to him to get down into the trench, and he did “.
Tragically, Captain Fry was killed in action on 29th August 1915, in a trench at Hill 60 Anzac, when a live Turkish bomb exploded, whilst he was attempting to throw it out of the trench. He died instantly, and probably in the first counter attacks, soon after the Lighthorsemen had gained the trench.
Captain Henry Phillip Fry was awarded a Mention in Despatches which read :- ” For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. It was largely due to his work that his party was able to maintain itself in the captured trenches. He was killed trying to throw a live Turkish bomb out of the trench “.