b. 17/09/1885 New Barnet. d. 10/09/1961 Guildford, Surrey.
Cyril Hubert Frisby (1885-1961) was born on 17th September 1885 at New Barnet, Hertfordshire, the son of Henry Frisby, and he had a younger brother, Daniel Claude Frisby. He was educated at Haileybury College, and became a member of the London Stock Exchange in 1911. Later that year on 18th April, he married Audrey Yates Oglivie Grant at St Andew’s Church, Westminster. They had a son, Henry, born in 1913.
Frisby joined the Hampshire Regiment as a Private in 1916 and was later commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards in March 1917.
The events of what happened on 27th September 1918 is described in “Times History of War” as thus “Capt Frisby and Cpl Jackson were together in the desperate affair which won for them the Cross. The officer was in command of a company detailed to capture the canal crossing on the Demicourt–Graincourt Road. When the canal was reached the leading platoon came under-annihilating machine-gun fire from a strong post set up under the old iron bridge.
Cyril Hubert Frisby on the far side of the canal, and in spite of reinforcing the platoon was unable to advance. Seeing that unless this machine-gun post was captured the whole of the advance in this area would fail.
Capt Frisby determined on taking; what he might well have looked upon as the measure of a forlorn-hope. Calling for volunteers to follow him, he dashed forward with three other ranks, the first to offer being the gallant Jackson, who was a young non-commissioned officer, and had shown a glorious spirit of bravery and duty ever since the battle opened. These four Coldstream Guardsmen climbed down into the canal under an intense point-blank machine-gun fire and by their dash, recklessness and resolution, captured the post with dozen men and two machine guns. In this swift successful enterprise Capt Frisby was wounded in the leg by a bayonet, but he remained at duty, and having restored the situation, led the attacking companies.
After reaching and consolidating his objective, he gave timely support to the company on his right, which had lost all its officers and sergeants, an illustration of the fury of the fight, organised its defences and beat off a heavy hostile attack.”
He was gazetted for the VC on 27th November 1918. After the war he spent much of his time tuna fishing. He has been described as Britain’s most famous tuna fisherman and on one day in the 1930s caught five tuna, including a 659 pounds (299 kg) specimen. His wife died in 1960 and Frisby died on 10th September 1961 aged 75 in Guildford, Surrey. He was buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking, Surrey. His grave was renovated by the Victoria Cross Trust in March 2015. His medals are held by the Coldstream Guards RHQ, Wellington Barracks, London.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: COLDSTREAM GUARDS RHQ, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: BROOKWOOD CEMETERY, SURREY.
PLOT 28, GRAVE 219662
Kevin Brazier – Brookwood Cemetery Map.
Thomas Stewart – Image of the Frisby VC Group at the Guards Museum, London.
Paul Deeprose – Frisby VC on the Haileybury College Memorial.