The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Private Oliver Fry

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: Oliver Edwin (Egbert) Fry

Ancestor's date of birth: 3/03/1875

Ancestor's date of death: 22/12/1901

Cause of Death: Enteric Fever (Typhoid) at Standerton South Africa

Service Number: 429

Colony or State of enlistment: WA, Place of Enlistment: Perth

Unit: Western Australian Mounted Infantry

Rank attained in Boer War: PTE, Date Effective: 01/03/1901

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): Died during the Boer War

Murray Page: 440

Contingent: Sixth Western Australian

Ship: Ulstermore, Date of Sailing: 10/04/1901

Memorial details: A lonely name on the obelisk in Standerton South Africa. The South African War Memorial Perth. The Australian War Memorial Canberra. A tree in the National Aboretum.

Decorations: Queen's South Africa Medal with clasps, posthumous

Personal Characteristics: Born on 3 March 1875 in Mintaro South Australia, he was the son of Joshua James Fry and Ann Joyce. Joshua James Fry was a schoolteacher who had originally trained as a bricklayer; a stalwart of the Methodist Church in Mintaro; he did not like the name Joshua, and preferred to go by the name "James"; Ann, Oliver's Mother, was James' second wife. Oliver is registered as "Oliver Egbert Fry" on his birth certificate. Not liking the name 'Egbert' he preferred 'Edwin', and used this as his second given name on his enlistment paper. In his early 20s, Oliver along with his brothers moved to Western Australia seeking work, hence he enlisted in the Western Australian Mounted Infantry. He never reached the age of 30.

Reasons to go and fight: Seeking adventure, and for the glory of the 'Empire'.

Details of service in war: Oliver Fry's 6th Western Australian Mounted Infantry served with Major General F. W. Kitchener's Column in the Eastern Transvaal, Natal, and Orange Free State; and with Colonel Campbell's, Colonel Benson's, and Colonel Wing's Columns in Eastern Transvaal.

For a great part of the year 1901, the 6th were in the Column of Major General Kitchener. who operated in the Lydenberg district, and generally over the Eastern Transvaal. In April, the column, working from Lydenberg, took part in the Operations of Sir Bindon Blood to the north of the Delagoa railway, in the Middleburg district. The Western Australians were several times engaged, and made some captures of prisoners and stock.

On 13 May. Kitchener's Column crossed to the south of the railway and made for the Ermelo District to take part in another sweeping movement towards Ermelo. under the direction of General Bindon Blood, and back towards the Ermelo-Bethel district. Captain Campbell was complimented by General Kitchener during operations at Farne House. On the 15th. there was a severe fight at Grobelaar Recht, near Carolina. in which the 6th had four men killed, Lieutenant SS Reid and four men wounded. one of whom subsequently died.

On 23 June. at Renshoorte, there was again fighting. Lieutenant Reid and two men were killed, and another two wounded severely. During these operations a number of prisoners. and some carts containing ammunition were taken.

In July, Kitchener's Column was back at. Middleburg, whereafter refitting, moved north of the railway, and had some encounters in which prisoners were taken. On the 16 August, there was fighting, with more casualties. Part of the battalion was in Colonel Benson's Column from August to October and did some good work in the Eastern Transvaal.

Soon after the 6th WAMI came under the command of General Bruce Hamilton in the Eastern Transvaal, many men came down with Typhoid or Enteric Fever. On 22 December 1901, Private Oliver Fry died of Enteric Fever at Standerton. His grave is in South Africa.

Ref: Murray Page 419.

Service and life after the Boer War: Oliver Fry died in the course of the Boer War

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Rosemary Howells, Penrith, NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Oliver Fry was Rosemary's great, great uncle

Name of Descendant: Alan Habgood, Lisarow NSW 2250
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Great Nephew


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields