Dene Barrett Fry – Fellow of the Linnaean Society of New South Wales Australia and Zoologist and demonstrator in Zoology at the University of Sydney – was killed fighting at the Battle of Arras 9 April 1917.
The Linnean Society of New South Wales Australia published a Roll of Honour of serving members. Two were killed – H. Stephens (6 listed amongst Australian forces on the CWGC website) and D. B. Fry.
Private Dene Barrett Fry, 4992, 3rd Battalion Australian Infantry AIF died on 9th April 1917 and is buried in plot E5, Beaumetz Cross Roads Cemetery, Beaumetz-les-Cambrai, France.
This cemetery which contains around 50 other Australian AIF casualties was begun by fighting units in March 1917.
Fry is listed on the CWGC website as the son of Arthur and Caroline F. Fry of Denegully, Northcote Road, Lindfield, New South Wales, Australia.
There is a short tribute to him in the Proceedings of The Linnean Society of New South Wales, 1920 (Volume XLV):
One of our promising junior members killed in action in France 4 April 1917, aged 23, was the first of our Soldier-members to fall. He was a rising young biologist of great promise, elected a member in 1913. his training began at the Australian Museum as a cadet in 1908 where he remained until 1914. When the war broke out, he was a student at the University and a Demonstrator in Zoology, but he gave up his university work in order to enlist , joining the Army Medical Corps in May 1915.
After two voyages in a hospital ship, he transferred to the Infantry, qualifying for the post of Lieutenant. But as there was no vacancy available, he left for the Front with reinforcements as Sergeant. After some time spent at Salisbury Plains, his regiment was sent to France where he took part in several engagements.
His last contribution to science was a paper printed in the 1916 proceedings, as well as ten other notes or papers about reptiles or amphibians published in journals before his death.
The Australian National War Memorial has this entry for him and a studio portrait of 4992 Private (Pte) Dene Barrett Fry, AAMC (Australian Army Medical Corps) of Lewisham, NSW.
4992 Private Dene Barrett Fry AAMC
A demonstrator in Zoology at the University of Sydney, and son of the first female graduate of the University, he initially served in the Australian Army Medical Corps.
After one trip on Hospital Ship Karoola he transferred to Infantry and trained at Duntroon. He was allocated to the 3rd Battalion and embarked from Sydney with the 19th Reinforcements aboard HMAT Wiltshire (A18) on 22 August 1916.
Pte Fry served on the Western Front; he was killed in action on 9 April 1917, aged 23. Pte Fry is buried at the Beaumetz Cross Road Cemetery, Beaumetz-les-Cambrai, France. (ANWM)
Sadly Dene was not the only casualty in his family in WW1.
His brother 1340 Pte Alan Fraser Fry, 13th Battalion was wounded on 13 August and died on 14 August 1916 and his uncle Major James Whiteside Fraser McManamey, 19th Battalion, also a graduate of the University of Sydney, was killed in action at Gallipoli on 5 September 1915. (source: ANWM)
A touching family photo album picture as a child and letter from Fry can be seen here online, obviously treasured by his mother and father:
He is pictured here with his brother Alan Fraser Fry https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/306355
Dene Barratt Fry, lost zoologist, and other members of the Australian forces at the Battle of Arras 1917 – Remembered.
Members or Fellows of the Linnean Society FLS lost in WW1 are remembered here:
Blogposted on 9th April 2017 by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo.