Correctly named 85039 Sapr GS *** 207 F Co RE ***-Fry
George Stephen Fry was born in Burnley in 1893. In 1911, we find him working as a loom fitter. His parents both worked in a mill so its a good probability they all worked together. His address at that time was 14 Knotts Lane, Colne, Lancashire.
He served with the 207th Field Company Royal Engineers who were primarily employed for laying out the barbed wire fencing, building huts in headquarters and plotting out and digging new trenches.
Around the 1/7/1916, Day 1 of the Somme, they were positioned in La Boisselle.
We find a report which details the action that is very probably the action for the Award of the MM which involved the blowing up of barbed wire entanglements which would have held up the advancing troops the following day. Dernancourt 30th June 1916.
The leader of the party, 2nd Lt Rought was awarded the Distinguished Service order.
Temp. 2nd Lt. Arthur Rought, 207th Fd. Co., R.E.
‘For conspicuous gallantry. He took command of a raiding party when the officer in charge had become a casualty, destroyed the enemy’s wire and skilfully withdrew under heavy shell fire with only one man slightly wounded’
Cpl RC Spalding was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
‘For conspicuous gallantry in action. He assisted an officer to lay torpedoes in the enemy’s wire, displaying great courage and ability. He has done fine work on many previous occasions.
Reading through the list supplied, there were multiple gallantry awards given for this action
Officer in command 2nd Lt Rought.
Cpl’s RC Spalding, RP Cook, E Moore, WE Smith, GP Barnes
Sappers B Appleton, G Cox, W Chapman, GS Fry, JS Hall, A Garnham, M Mills, JR Porter, WS Sutton, RE Scott, ST Trimby
Pioneers J Haskey, F Thaxton, EM West.
His MM was Gazetted on 23/08/1916. He is entitled to a Pair also. Please note the erasure of the surname Fry from the medal but everything else is plain to see.
A fantastic research project and a small insight to the lesser known acts of bravery that assisted most probably one of the, if not, the most famous day in WW1 history.
A copy of the diaries and list of the men involved in the party will be supplied with the medal.