We would like to acknowledge the help of Jenny (http://www.lintywhite.com/thomas2.html) in helping us to uncover Percy’s life in Australia. Thanks also go to Gai & Robert Dollery for photos on this page
Percy Grove Fry was the seventh child of Albert Edward Fry & Harriett Annie Grove born August 1st, 1890 at Chartners Farm, Hartfield & christened October 26th, 1890 at St Mary's parish church, Hartfield.
A few months after Percy was born his father suddenly died of a heart attack, leaving his mother Harriett to run the farm & look after the children.
In 1891 Percy was living with his widowed mother Harriett & brothers
& sisters at Chartners Farm, Hartfield.
Tragically Percy’s mother died in November 1893 leaving 7 orphaned children.
Percy (4) & his older brother Arthur William (5) are both recorded as passengers aboard the Austral which sailed from London on September 7th, 1894, arriving in Sydney, Australia on October 22nd, 1894. [Thanks to Lynne & Richard Horton for discovering that the boys went to Australia.] The brothers travelled with 40 year old Louisa Donald, a charwoman, who was recorded on arrival as being unmarried. Louisa Donald was in fact Louisa Mary Grove [g.6.6], sister of Percy’s mother Harriett Annie. Louisa had married George Donald in Sydney, Australia in 1886, having emigrated to Australia with her parents & siblings in 1874. Presumably Louisa had returned to England after the death of her sister and took Percy & his brother Arthur back to Australia with her. The reason for Louisa being recorded as unmarried could be that she arrived with the 2 children but no accompanying husband.
Percy’s early years in Australia are as yet unknown.
Percy married Victoria Halcyon Thomas in 1914 at Redfern, Sydney, Australia. Victoria was born October 23rd, 1895 at 16 Dawson St, Sydney & christened December 4th, 1895 at St Michael’s Church, Flinders St, Sydney, the daughter of Victoria Harriett Knight & John Thomas, a carpenter.
Percy & Victoria are known to have had 3 children – Percy John, Daphne Halcyon & Enid Victoria.
The New South Wales Police Gazette of 1923 shows that Percy’s home at 42 Havelock St, Drummoyne was burgled one evening. A significant amount of their jewellery & personal items were stolen from their home, as well as jewellery belonging to Victoria’s mother, Victoria Thomas, who was living with them.
Percy’s occupation was a motor mechanic, & in 1930 he & Victoria were living at 23 Tavistock St, Drummoyne with Victoria’s widowed mother. Percy had been in partnership with Percy Gordon Buddle & together they were garage proprietors under the name of ‘Fry & Buddle, Drummoyne Motor Garage’. The Sydney Morning Herald of July 15th 1930 revealed that the business was dissolved on July 7th, 1930.
Percy's garage at Drummoyne
By 1933 Percy, Victoria & her mother were living at 72 Warialda St, Bexley, Sydney.
The 1937 electoral register shows Percy & Victoria were still living at 72 Warialda St, Bexley & son Percy John Albert, a salesman, was also listed with them.
By 1939 the family had moved to 16 Banner St, Kingsgrove, Sydney when tragedy struck the family in June. Daughter Enid, aged 17, was knocked down & killed by a car after she & her sister had alighted from a bus in Croydon Rd, Kingsgrove.
Daughters Enid (left) & Daphne
Son Percy John enlisted at Paddington, NSW in 1939 & served in the AIF until 1948 according to the National Archives of Australia.
The electoral register of 1943 shows Percy, Victoria & son Percy & daughter Daphne, a machinist, all living at 16 Banner St, Kingsgrove.
The family were still living at 16 Banner St in 1945 when son Percy announced his engagement to Dorothy Mary Gardiner (Sydney Morning Herald May 12th). They were married later that year at Randwick, Sydney. Also in 1945 daughter Daphne married David Eric Dollery at Rockdale, New South Wales. They were to have 4 children.
Son Percy & his wife Dorothy were living at 65 Epping Rd, Edgecliff, Wentworth, NSW in 1949 & he was a milk vendor. By 1954 they had moved to 11 Amy St, Blakehurst, Oatley, NSW where they continued to live until at least 1972 when they were listed with daughter Margaret Lesley, a teacher. The 1977 electoral register shows Dorothy & Percy living at 11 Gayton Close, Warners Bay, NSW & Percy was now listed as a manager & Dorthy was a clerk. This was still their home in 1980 when daughter Carolyn Ann, a student, was listed with them.
Daughter Daphne was living at 16 Banner St, Kingsgrove, Sydney in 1949 but husband David was not listed with her at the time of the electoral register. By 1954 Daphne & David, a storeman packer, were living at 4 Barnards Avenue, Hurstville, NSW.
Percy & Victoria with grandchildren c1950
It appears that Victoria’s mother continued to live with the Fry’s until her death on April 17th, 1951 at Banner St. Censuses indicate that they continued to live in Kingsgrove until at least 1954.
In 1958 Percy, now a fitter & turner, & Victoria were living at 4 Barnards Avenue, Hurstville & continued to live there until Percy's death in 1972. Living with them were daughter Daphne & her husband David Dollery.
Percy died on February 26th, 1972, aged 81 years, at Calvary Hospital, Kogarah, Sydney & cremated on Fabruary 29th, 1972 at Woronora Crematorium. The death certificate states that Percy’s usual address was 4 Barnards Avenue, Hurstville & he had been a foreman.
Victoria died in 1985 in New South Wales, Australia.
The children of Percy Grove Fry & Victoria Halcyon Thomas were:
f.18.104.22.168.1 Percy John Albert Fry born March 8th, 1916 at Morehead St, Redfern, Sydney
f.22.214.171.124.2 Daphne Halcyon Fry born November 3rd, 1919 at Concord, Sydney; died October 5th, 2003 in Ballina, New South Wales
f.126.96.36.199.3 Enid Victoria Fry born 1922; died June 24th, 1939 at Kingsgrove, Sydney