11 November 2018

Eric Fry MM

One of the surprises that I found in the Grafton Box was a Military Medal awarded to SJT Eric Rosewarne Fry. I thought that with that name the search would be on the easy side; how wrong was I?
Eric's WWI British medal card threw up all sort of complications. Firstly, Eric was a Sapper in the Divisional Engineers, 63rd (Royal Naval) Division. His number was originally 149 but later changed to 207416. At some point Eric was reallocated to the Royal Engineers and awarded the Military Medal. I couldn't find the award citation or the date of the action but the London Gazette date is 22 Feb18.
Later in 1918 Eric was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Reserve Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. The medal card indicates that Eric was also awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Then the search got difficult.
Eric was 24 when the war ended and at some point he married May Dickerson Foster. Eric died on 12 May 1957.
May remarried, this time to a US citizen, Carroll Milan. After that there was a gap of about 40 years in the records until, very much to my surprise, I discovered that May died in Sydney on 15 Oct 98. At least that explained how Eric's MM turned up in Australia.
My search then focused on Eric's brother Donald Bernard Fry. Though a tree I found on Ancestry I've been able to have a messaged passed to one of Donald's daughters and I'll soon send Eric's MM back to the UK. Nigel D from Chatham, Kent has been very helpful in this search and will also be the go between to return the medal.
The returned medal tally is now 2281

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