John Lovelock FRY (1887-1925)

9th Infantry Brigade AIF

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Officers Peak Cap

35th BATTALION - 33rd BATTALION A.I.F.

Captain: John Lovelock FRY.


Born: 31st July 1887. Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Birth Cert:

Died: 8th February 1925. North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Death Cert:1586/1925.


Father: John James Fry.

Mother: Sarah Fry. nee: Cooper.


INFORMATION

John Lovelock Fry enlisted with D Company, 35th Battalion AIF on the 3 of January 1916 and was an original member of the Battalion and left Sydney on board HMAT A24 "Benalla" on the 1st of May 1916.

30th March 1918.

COUNTER ATTACK OPERATION. AFTERNOON AND EVENING MARCH 30TH, 1918.

33RD BATTALION A.I.F

At 10;30 a.m. on March 30th the 33rd Battalion moved from billets in CACHY to a position of readiness on the south Western edge of the BOIS D'AQUENNE. The enemy shelled CACHY from 10 a.m. but we suffered no casualties. At 2;15 p.m I reported to you at the Brigade Report Center at H.33,0,35,40 and received your orders to capture and establish a line from the Copse immediately South of the first c in MARCELCAVE to AUBERCOURT, and to capture AUBERCOURT which was in possession of the enemy. The 33rd would work in conjunction with the 12th Lancers, who were 400 strong, and would have the 34th in support.

The following orders were issuedby me verbally to Company Commanders at 2;45 P.M. "B" Company Lieutenant: 5017 John Graham Antill POCKLEY will establish a line from the Oppue just South of the first C in MARCELCAVE to a point 100 yards east of the Crossroads to V.14.b. "A" Company Captain: John Lovelock FRY will establish a line from 100 yards East of the Cross Roads in V.14.b. to V.20.b.20.00. "D" Company Captain: James William SHREEVE. will capture AUBERCOURT and establish a line on the Eastern and Southern sidres of the villiage. As DEMUIN is held by the enemy particular attention is to be paid to the roads loading over to do LUCE from BEMUIN and COUXCELLES. "C" Company Captain: Walter John Clare DUNCAN will be in reserve in the valley South East of the BOIS DE HANGARD and to be ready to capture DEMUIN.

Battalion Headquarters will be the Reserve Company "D" Teams, according to S.S. 156, will not take into action but will be sent to BLANCY TRONVILLE. At 3;10 p.m the Battalion marched under the command of Major: Francis George GRANT. from BOIS D'AQUENNE and moved across country to the West of VILLERS-BRETONNEUX - AUBECOURT road in U.12. This position was reached at 4;35 p.m. At 3;00 p.m I sent forward two patrols from the Platoon of the 9th Corps Cyclists to reconnoitor North and South of the wood East of BOIS DE HANGARD and then as far forward towards AUBERCOURT and MARCELCAVE as possible. I regret to report that the Platoon Commander Lieutenant: Phillip Charles GRATWICKE was killed.

Phillip Charles Gratwicke

Lieutenant: Phillip Charles GRANTWICKE. 9th Corps, Cyclist Battalion. Killed in Action 30th March 1918.

The 12th Lancers proceeded the Battalion and reached the wood East of BOIS DE HANGARD at about 4;15 p.m.(This wood was in future be refered as LANCERS WOOD) My Adjutant, Scout Officer and Cavalry Liaison Officer went ahead with the Cavalry and reconnoitor the position. On our way to LANCER WOOD we passed several bodies of troops particuarly had reclessly entrenched in queer places and large parties of stragglers. On reaching the wood we found the whole front line garrison East of LANCER WOOD withdrawing although there was no hostile fire of any kind and no signs of attack. I met two Brigadiers and a Battalion Commander in the wood and informed them what was happening at once. This they promised to do. The Cavalry Commander also helped in this matter by sending a Squadron dismounted to re-establish the line. The infantry went forward with the cavalry but in a reluctant manner. During the whole time we sore forward men constantly leaving the line. The seemed to be no effort to check this straggling.

It was a proud privilage to be allowed to work with such a fine Regiment as the 12th Lancers. Their approach march instilled in the mementos confidence and enthusiasm and I am glad to say greatly counteracted the effect of so much straggling. They lost no time in effectively clearing LANCERS WOOD and get there just in time as the enemy had obtained a footing on the southern and South Eastern edges. The Lancers protected the edges and allowed us to move forward to the attack. On seeing the cavely there the enemy shelled LANCER WOOD very heavily, chiefly with 5.0s. paying particular attention to our fringes. Fairly heavy casualties to horses were inflicted there, the horses were soon led from the wood to a position West of the VILLER-BRETONNEUX - AUBERCOURT Road. The discipline during the heavy shelling was a subject lesson. During the attack the cavalry protected both our flanks, the left with two Machine Guns. They withdrew at about 7.00 p.m.

All ranks were eager to give every possible help to us, throughout there was whole hearted cooperation. The experience gained in this our first operation with cavalry was invaluable. One was able too judge of the splendid work they are doing for the Army at this present time and they cannot be too highly praised. The 33rd Battalion moved forward from the position of assembly at 3:00 p.m. The formation adapted by Companies was as follows; One Platoon in extended order, followed by twoo Platoons in line in Artillery formation; the fourth Platoon in reserve also in Artillery formation.

"B" Company moved along the Northern edge of LANCER WOOD and widened its front on clearing the wood. "A" Company moved throughout the wood. Owing to enemy shelling while moving through, the whole company was extended into three lines and resumed normal formation on clearing the wood. No casualties were sustained in the wood. "B" Company worked in single file along the brindle track near the Southern edge of the wood and formed up under cover of the terraced bank on the South East edge. Three casuslties were sustained on entering the wood. "C" Company formed up on the sunken road in U.18.a. and not where was first ordered, owing to the hostile shelling.

The movement forward was splendidly carried out. On the right slight opposition was encounted bur easily disposed of. no real opposition was not until we were about 200 yards clear of the wood when all three Companies came very heavy machine gun and rifle fire. They deployed at once and moved forward without flinching. All ranksdisplayed the greatest determination and eagerness to get to the Bosch with the beyonet, this eagerness was to some extent responsible for the heavy casualties as the principle of advancing under covering fire was not sufficiently observed. On the Left most progress was made in spite of heavy losses, and the enemy hurriedly retired but on discovering later in strength he reformed.

30th March 1918

The enemy was well entrenched and in strong force as we had no artillery support his fire was consequently extremely heavy and unfortunately very accurate. Owing to such strong opposition we were not able to reach our objectives. The attached map shows approximately the line we established. The line is well sited and is a very good defensive position. With determined troops the enemy could easily be held, and any advance he attempted would be very expensive. Owing to casualties and to the wide front the Reserve Company to reinforce the right flank. This Company made good the gap between the right and centre Companies. At the same time I requested the 34th Battalion which was in support in U.18.a. and U.12.c. West of the VILLERS-BRETONNEUX - AUBERCOURT Road, to send a Company to reinforce the left flank. I instructed Company Commander Captain: Telford Graham GILDER. to reconnoitre the position first and then move forward at 6.00 p.m. This Company advanced in two lines of two Platoons each and took the newly-made enemy trenches about 250 yards East of the line then held by us, capturing two light machine guns one of which was damaged, and four prisioners belonging to 91st Oldenburg Regiment.

Wilhelm CONZE; Company-Leader in the 91st Infantry-Regiment (03 Apr 1917-14 Oct 1917) Wounded, in Reserve Hospital in Gotha (23 Mar 1918-22 May 1918) Transferred to the Replacement-Battalion of the 91st Infantry-Regiment (22 May 1918-01 Jul 1918) Company-Leader in the 91st Infantry-Regiment (01 Jul 1918-30 Sep 1918) In French Captivity (30 Sep 1918-14 Feb 1920) Released from Captivity and back with the Processing-Office of the 91st Infantry-Regiment (14 Feb 1920-29 Mar 1920)

Captain GILDER withdrew and made good the gap between the left and center Companys. At 10:00 p.m. I requested the C.O. 34th Battalion to send two companys forward, one to the sunken road in U.18.a the other to a position 300 yards Noth East of LANCER WOOD. At 11:00 p.m. the enemy attempted a local counter attack against my left company but was repelled. Heavy rain fell from early in the afternoon till late at night. Walking over the ploughed fields under such conditions affected the Lewis guns and rifles. Every man was drenched to the skin and very cold, but this did not dampen his ardour. All maps were soon rendered useless and the writing of messages was extremely difficult. Our flanks were somewhat in the air, on our left the Warwicks were about 600 yard behind. The 66th Division were on our right, but touch with them was not obtained.

In order to secure my right flank the right Support company, of the 34th Battalion supplied a Platoon for patrolling and also to establish a post South of LANCER WOOD on the VILLERS-BRETONNEUX - AUBERCOURT Road. Our front was well protected by Vickers and Lewis Guns. We had five Vickers guns from the 9th Australian Machine Gun Company - two covered either flank and one the center, and we had 25 Lewis guns. We were relieved by the 10th ESSEX and the ROYAL WEST SURREY Regiment of the 18th Division this morning; the relief Battalion Headquarters were established at V.7.d.30.95. The Pre-arranged position was untonable.

Lieutenant Colonel: Leslie James MORSHEAD.

Commanding 33rd Battalion A.I.F.

Returned to Australia on the 16th of January 1919.

Waratah War Memorial

WARATAH WAR MEMORIAL

TWEED DAILY (Murwillumbah, N.S.W.)

SYDNEY, Monday 9th February 1925.

MAN'S SKULL FRACTURED.

John Lovelock Fry (36) an inspector in the War Service Homes Department, was riding a motor cycle, to which a side car was attached at Lane Cove today, when the wheel of the chassis caught in the tram lines. Fry was thrown on to the road, and his skull was fractured. He died in a few minutes.

Tweed Daily 1925

Family Information

John was a single 29 year old Building Contractor from Turner Street, Waratah, N.S.W. upon enlistment. His parents John and Sarah Fry were married in 1879 at Newcastle, N.S.W. Marriage Cert:4130/1879. John died as the result of a motor cycle accident at North Sydney and is buried at Sandgate Cemetery.

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Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia)

Under Construction; 05/10/2008-22/11/2016.


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