Captain Cyril Frisby of the Coldstream Guards, son of Mr & Mrs H. Frisby of The Gate House, Heath House Lane, Woking, and husband of Mrs Frisby of Pyrford Lodge, West Byfleet, was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for most conspicuous bravery, leadership and devotion to duty at Graincourt, France, in 1918.
Cyril Hubert Frisby was born on 17th September 1885 at New Barnet, educated at Haileybury and joined the Stock Exchange in 1911.
Cyril Frisby initially joined the Hampshire Regiment as a Private soldier in 1916 but gained his commission in March 1917 and was posted to the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.
Cyril Frisby’s VC citation reads as follows:-
‘A/ Capt Cyril Hubert Frisby C Guards (S.R.) attd 1st Bn.
For most conspicuous bravery, leadership and devotion to duty in action on the 27th September 1918, across the Canal Du Nord, near Grailscourt, when in command of a company detailed to capture the Canal crossing, on the Demicourt-Graincourt Road.
On reaching the canal the leading platoon came under annihilating machine-gun fire from a strong machine-gun post under the old iron bridge on the far side of the canal and was unable to advance despite reinforcing waves. Capt Frisby realised at once that unless this post was captured the whole advance in the area would fail. Calling for volunteers to follow him, he dashed forward, and with three other ranks, he climbed down into the canal under point-blank machine-gun fire and succeeded in capturing the post with two machine guns and 12 men.
By his personal valour and initiative he restored the situation and enabled the attacking companies to continue the advance.
Having reached and consolidated his objective he gave timely support to the company on his right which had lost all of its officers and sergeants, organised its defences and beat off heavy hostile counter attacks. He was wounded in the leg by a bayonet in the attack on the machine-gun post but remained at duty throughout thereby setting a splendid example to all ranks’.
(London Gazette, 27 November 1918).
Cyril Frisby survived the war and spent much of his time tuna fishing. He apparently became Great Britain’s most famous tuna fisherman, winning major sports fishing competitions.
Cyril married Audrey Grant in 1911 and had one son. He died in Guildford in 1961 and is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery. Cyril Frisby’s VC is held at the Coldstream Guards’ Regimental Headquarters in Wellington Barracks, London.