Collection UQFL23 - John Denis Fryer Papers

Identity area

Reference code



John Denis Fryer Papers


  • [189-] -1990 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3 boxes, 1 parcel.

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

John Denis (Jack) Fryer was born on 11 September 1895 at Springsure, Queensland, son of Charles George Fryer and Rosina Fryer (née Richards). Charles and Rosina had seven children: Elizabeth Stuart (later Gilmour), William Thomas, Charles George, Henry Hardy, John Denis, Richard Alexander James and Walter Ponsonby. Jack won a scholarship to the University of Queensland and commenced study in 1915. By the end of first term, Jack decided to volunteer for military service in the first Australian Imperial Force. He was commissioned in 1916 and went to France where he was gassed in early 1917. After hospitalisation in England, Jack returned to France for the final push to Amiens, in August 1918. There he was again wounded, by a stick bomb. After the war he re-enrolled at the University of Queensland for the first term of 1920 to complete his English honours examinations. His health failed in 1922 and he died on 7 February 1923. In 1926, as a memorial to their former member and vice-president, members of the University of Queensland Dramatic Society donated £10 to establish a collection of works in Australian literature. The Fryer collection was maintained in the English Department until the 1950s when it became part of the University of Queensland Library.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Frederick Walter Robinson (known as "Doc Robbie") was born in Sydney on 21 October 1888. He was educated at Sydney High, University of Sydney and the University of Jena. He was Associate Professor of Modern Languages at Royal Military College Duntroon (1913-1932), and Captain and Intelligence Officer in the AIF (1915-1919). F.W. Robinson lectured in English and German at The University of Queensland (1923-1945), and later became Associate Professor of English (1946-1958). He was in the General Staff Office as a Major (Intelligence) in 1941-42. He presented the Commonwealth Literary Fund Australian Literature Seminars and Lectures at The University of Queensland in 1944 and 1958, and at Sydney University in 1946. F.W. Robinson also set up the Fryer Memorial Library of Australian Literature at The University of Queensland. For many years he was associated with the Oxley Library, the Queensland Art Gallery and other cultural institutions. He played a large part in the planning of the University of Queensland at St Lucia. F.W. Robinson died on 26 August 1971.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Elizabeth Stuart Fryer was born on 21 December 1884. She was the eldest child of Charles George Fryer and Rosina, née Richards. Charles and Rosina had seven children: Elizabeth Stuart, William Thomas, Charles George, Henry Hardy, John Denis, Richard Alexander James and Walter Ponsonby. She married James Stephen "Jim" Gilmour on 22 July 1919. They were pioneering pastoralists who took up a selection they called Mount Kelman which was near Springsure, Queensland. They had a daughter Alexis. Elizabeth died in 1984.

Name of creator

Biographical history

Archival history

Collection previously titled as: Papers, [189-]-1990
Collection alternatively titled as: John Denis Fryer Collection.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Correspondence, school and university records, photographs; Papers, commissions and badges relating to his military service in the First World War. Papers relating to the establishment of the Fryer Library as a memorial to J. Fryer. Also some associated family correspondence and papers.
Selected letters transcribed by Carmel McCarthy in Box 1 Folder 1.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Unrestricted access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)



Millennium Local System Number


OCLC Number

222660632 ; 1058637747

Libraries Australia ID

21260430 ; 63004947

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Description control area

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Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.




Accession area