1921 Jan 10. Employed in the Police Adviser's Office. He was still there when a reply was given in House of Commons in 22 Apr 1921Lt. Commander Fry does not appear in the ADRIC registers. He was employed in the Chief of Police's Office as a "temporary clerk", so he could have been one of Col. Winters men like Lees. He is not Mr.F in the court case, as Mr.F is the Platoon Commander on the Raid used as an alibi for Captain King. He is probably the one described as 'another witness who was at the Castle that night', the fact that he went to the door of the Auxiliary Division, but was unable to get inside, marks him as an outsider.
However the defence counsel asked if there had been considerable, "intimate" friction 19 years previously between him and King's family. The answer from Fry was that there was friction, but that he did not know King himself then. That puts the contact between the families at about1902. King was in South Africa then, and indeed for 2 years either side of that date, but his family was still in London. His sister was only 10 in 1901 census, so he would not have had an affair with her. King's mother was 46 in 1901.
There was a curious follow-up in Parliament to the Drumcondra murders of 9 Feb 1921 in Dublin, when an MP (rather dubiously in my opinion) used parliamentary privilege to name names, as reported in Hansard on 18 Apr 1918.
Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS (by Private Notice) asked the Attorney-General for Ireland whether the prosecution of Captain King and Cadets Hinchcliffe and Welsh, of the Auxiliary Division, Royal Irish Constabulary, for the murder of James Murphy was founded mainly on the evidence of Lieut.-Commander Fry; what position Lieut.-Commander Fry holds in the Irish Administration; whether Lieut.-Commander Fry's evidence was so unreliable as to have the appearance of deliberate perjury; and whether he will be suspended with a view to his prosecution?
Mr. HENRY Lieut.-Commander Fry, who is employed in the office of the Chief of Police, was a witness for the prosecution in this case. I do not think it desirable to express any opinion as to the extent to which the case for the prosecution depended on his evidence or as to the reliability of his evidence. These were matters for the Court to decide. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.
Lord H. CAVENDISH-BENTINCK Is it usual for a Member of this House to use the privileges of the House to accuse another man of perjury?
Earl WINTERTON May I ask my hon. and learned Friend whether, between now and Wednesday—when I propose to put down a question on the subject—he will inquire into the reasons why Lieut.-Commander Fry was ever appointed to this office, whether the appointment was made on the recommendation of a Member of this House; also if he will carefully read the amazing evidence given by Lieut.-Commander Fry and the manner in which it was completely rebutted by military and police witnesses?
Mr. O'CONNOR May I ask if the name of this gentleman—which has just been mentioned and which I hear for the first time—was published by the authorities, and whether the authorities consider it desirable to expose a gentleman who, like General Crozier, tried to bring criminals to justice, to such attacks as have been made upon him?
Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS May I ask whether this case was not heard in open court, and whether it is not public knowledge in Dublin as to whose evidence brought the whole case about?
Mr. HENRY The case was heard in open court. The Crown did not publish the names of the witnesses.
And a further series of questions reported in Hansard 21 April 1921
Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS asked the Chief Secretary whether the court which tried Captain King and Cadets Hinchcliffe and Walsh, of the Auxiliary Division, Royal Irish Constabulary, for the murder of James Murphy considered that the witnesses for the prosecution had so completely failed to establish any case that they acquitted the accused without even hearing the final addresses of counsel; and whether Lieut.-Commander Fry, on whose information the prosecution was based, is still employed in the office of the chief of police?
Mr. HENRY I am unable to add anything to the reply which I gave to a similar question by the hon. and gallant Member on this subject on the 18tb instant.
I considered 4 candidates for "Lt Commander Fry"