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Gerald Thomas Fryer (1885–1952)

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This entry is from People Australia

Gerald Thomas Fryer (1885-1952) school teacher, and trade union official 

Birth: 11 June 1885 at Toongabbie, Victoria, son of English-born William Fryer (1847-1897), coach proprietor, born at Nash, Buckinghamshire, and Elizabeth Amelia, née Brooks (1853-1943), born in Tasmania. Marriage: 1922 at Westgarth, Victoria, to Queenie Mary Elizabeth Baxter (1897-1986). They had one daughter and one son. Death: 24 May 1952 at his residence in Eskdale Road, Caulfield, Vic. 

  • Matriculating at sixteen, he was appointed a pupil teacher, Drouin, Victoria.
  • Assistant teacher, Williamstown and subsequently taught at many schools in Melbourne suburbs. 1908-1914 completed Diploma of Education, second class honours.
  • On 3 October 1916 enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. Wounded in action in France on 1 May 1918 serving with the 57th Battalion. Attached to AIF Education Service 1918. Commissioned temporary second lieutenant on 23 November 1918, and lieutenant on 1 March 1919. Studied art at Cheshire College, Cambridge. Returned to Australia in September 1919 and his appointment terminated on 13 December 1919.
  • Returned to teaching service, Caulfield Central, from 1921 to 1926. Noted for humorous and engaging cartoons/singing, with special interest in literature, art and music.
  • In 1928, became first Digger to become president of the Victorian Teachers’ Union. Active in Anzac Day, funding of shrine and Returned Servicemen Teachers. Re-elected 1929, 1930, 1935, 1936.
  • Strove to have teaching profession recognised industrially and restoration of salaries following Depression years. Teachers’ Representative on Primary Classifiers’ Committee, 1940-50.
  • Well known for his ‘stern and rigid sense of justice’. A ‘lively figure’ politically who enjoyed nothing more than ‘verbal sparring’ with Robert Menzies at political meetings at Caulfield Town Hall.
  • Cause of death: uraemia, secondary anaemia and advanced arthritis.

Teachers’ Journal
, 20 June 1952, August 1973.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Fryer, Gerald Thomas (1885–1952)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 June 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Gerald Fryer, 1927

Gerald Fryer, 1927

Weekly Times (Melbourne), 22 January 1927, p 6

Life Summary [details]


11 June, 1885
Toongabbie, Victoria, Australia


24 May, 1952 (aged 66)
Caulfield, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

kidney disease

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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