Sunday, 15 December 2019

War veteran becomes councillor at age 94

A SECOND World War veteran has become a Wargrave parish councillor.

John Fryer, 94, of Walled Garden, is believed to be the only surviving villager who served during the war.

He has been a member of the Wargrave branch of the Royal British Legion for more than 25 years and previously spent four years organising the village’s Poppy Appeal. 

He laid a wreath at the village war memorial in June to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Councillor Fryer was just two when his family moved to Wargrave in 1927.

He joined the army when he was 18, giving up an engineering course in the Midlands to do so.

He joined the Rifle Brigade and was trained in Yorkshire and had officer training in Winchester before being posted to northern Italy.

He was part of a team that supervised the transport of thousands of German prisoners of war back home after the Allied victory.

Cllr Fryer completed his officer training and became a lieutenant and helped train troops around Britain.

He said: “I was in the business of engineering in Reading and worked with my father.

“He was the finance man and I was the engineer. We made arms and ammunition during the war.”

He and his wife Maureen moved to Wargrave 30 years ago, having previously lived in Peppard and Caversham.

Cllr Fryer said: “My parents are both buried here and so is my wife and I intend to be buried here as well.

“I am the man who is always seen sitting on the lawn mower going around the village green, which I have been doing for 25 years. This year will be my last.”

He is also a member of the Wargrave branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and was a volunteer driver for the elderly.

 Cllr Fryer said he was delighted to be joining the council, adding: “I am very happy that I will get to have a say.”

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