CWG: Private Clarence Fry

Private Clarence Fry

Clarence Vivian Clements Fry was born in November 1898 to William and Rosa Fry. William was a ‘provisions merchant clerk’, who went on to become a ‘cheese and provision dealer’, or grocer. Sadly, Rosa passed away in 1904, at the tender age of 31, leaving Clarence without a mother at just six years old.

William remarried in 1908, and he and new wife Amy had a daughter, also called Amy, a year later. By the 1911 census, the family of four were living in a three storey Victorian Terraced house to the south of Bridgwater town centre.

Sadly, little of Clarence’s military career remains documented. Initially joining the Royal Army Service Corps, Private Fry soon transferred over to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Wiltshire Regiment.

The 1st Battalion found in some of the key battles on the Western Front, including Mons, Ypres, Messines and Vimy Ridge. As his enlistment date isn’t known, it’s impossible to say whether Private Fry was involved in these conflicts or not.

What is likely is that Private Fry was involved in the Battle of the Selle, which took place near the towns of Cambrai and Valenciennes in northern France in October 1918. Clarence was certainly injured at this point, and was evacuated to England for treatment.

Admitted to the Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot, it seems that his injuries were too severe and he succumbed to them on 5th November 1918, just a week before the Armistice was signed. Private Fry was just 19 years old.

Clarence Vivian Clements Fry lies at rest in the Wembdon Road Cemetery in his home town of Bridgwater in Somerset.

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