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Author Topic: Pilot Officer Charles Rawdon Keith Fry  (Read 143 times)
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« on: May 08, 2017, 09:55:20 AM »

Charles Rawdon Keith Fry
Pilot Officer
Service number 101570
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 610 Squadron

Died on the 4th October 1941  aged 19 years.

Buried in St. Bartholomew's "new cemetery", Horley, Surrey - grave reference: Block A. Row O. Grave 3.

Son of Charles Rawdon Manders Fry and of Florence Magdalen Fry (nee Scudamore), of Seaford, Sussex.

Pilot Officer Fry's headstone was originally inscribed with dark lead on a light granite background, but some of the lead has weathered a bit and is starting to become hard to read.  The inscription states :

             OF OUR DARLING
           SON AND BROTHER
               PILOT OFFICER
             ROYAL AIR FORCE
4th OCT 1941 AGED 19 YEARS 9* DAYS

As his memorial states, Pilot Officer Fry was "killed on active service:.  I haven't worked out the exact circumstances of his death.

Pilot Officer Fry was attached to No.610 (County of Chester) Squadron which, at the time of his death, was based at RAF Leconfield in Yorkshire, and the squadron were flying Supermarine Spitfires (both marks  IIA and IIB).  

Prior to joining the RAF he was educated at Haileybury Boy's Public School and he is commemorated on the "Old Haileyburians" roll of honour, although this doesn't give any more details other than what is included on the CWGC site (above).

A small query on the headstone inscription  *  I can't make out if this should read "9 DAYS" or "19 Days".  

Attached are two photographs of his grave which I took last Friday.

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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 09:04:49 AM »

Charles Rawdon Keith Fry
Born about 1922, possibly in Jamaica

Buried 8.10.1941. Abode had been RAF Scalby—and Briar Bank, Salfords. Death registered at Scarborough District.

20.3.1923. from Bristol to Kingston on SS Patuca with parents. UK address had been 23 Sackville Gdns, Hove.
26.6.1926 from Avonmouth to Kingston on SS Patuca with parents & a sister. Same UK Address.
31.3.1931. from Avonmouth to Kingston on SS Canito, on his own, age 8. A schoolboy. Same UK Address.

His father, born 22.1.1896 at Bombay, was in Royal Sussex Regt.

In 1939 family at Briar Bank Salfords, Pear Tree Hill. Father was a Poultry Farmer. Father shown as Lieut R A R O Royal Sussex. Three closed entries which would have been children born post 1916, and probably included Charles
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2017, 10:51:35 AM »

see attached

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fry 1.jpg
pomme homme
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2017, 13:46:21 PM »

As his memorial states, Pilot Officer Fry was "killed on active service:.  I haven't worked out the exact circumstances of his death.


On 4th October 1941 the pilot of this Spitfire was carrying out a dusk patrol off the Yorkshire Coast. It was thought that the aircraft's radio had failed prior to the aircraft crashing at 18.40hrs near Scalby. The aircraft flew into the ground at a shallow angle and caught fire and the pilot killed in the impact. Bad weather and bad light were reported at the time of the crash and it seems likely that he didn't see the ground, and perhaps thinking he was out to sea he descended and simply flew into the ground. I have yet to locate the exact place where the aircraft crashed but it is believed to be on land now covered by housing. The site must have been visited by local people at the time and as of creating this webpage this remains one of a few accident sites in the Scarborough area I have yet to locate a witness and would welcome contact from anyone who remembers this incident.

Pilot - P/O Charles Rawdon Keith Fry RAFVR (101570), aged 19, of Seaford, Sussex. Buried Horley Churchyard, Surrey,
Charles Fry was born in 1923, as a child he appears to have done a lot of travelling, in 1926, 1928 and 1931 there are three entries for him sailing abroad from Avonmouth but he had returned to England to be educated at Hailebury College, Hertford. He received his commission in the RAF to the rank of P/O on probation (emergency) on 9th July 1941. He had 54 of his 131 hours total flying time on the Spitfire when this accident occurred. Nothing more is known about him.

His father was a Charles Rawdon Manders Fry born in 1896 who had served in the Sussex Regiment in WW1, he made the same journey as his son in 1926 and also sailed from Bristol in 1923 and Dartmouth in 1930. Someone of the same name also served in the RAF in the Second World War and received his commission on 7th November 1941 (with seniority of 28th July 1941) (110909) who may be the same person though would seem to be too old to have flown when he received his commission. Someone of the same name died in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia in 1958.

Spitfire P8678 was built to contract B981687/39/CB/23(C) by Vickers Armstrong's Ltd at Castle Bromwich and was delivered to the RAF; to 9 MU at Cosford on 31st May 1941. After acceptance it was issued to 452 Squadron at Kenley on 10th July 1941 but quickly moved onto 129 Squadron at Leconfield on 26th August 1941 when this unit begain re-equipping with Mk.IIA's. But on this date 129 Squadron left Leconfield on 28th August 1941 for Westhampnett taking with it only it's Spitfire Mk.Vb's and MkVc's so left it's Mk.IIA aircraft to 610 Squadron who moved into Leconfield from Westhampnett on the same date. As a result of the accident on 4th October 1941 the aircraft suffered Cat.E2/FA damage in the incident detailed above and was written off.
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