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Stella Kathleen Fry [f.]

Stella Kathleen Fry was the first child of Albert Edward Fry & Rose Marion Barnett born January 6th, 1914 at 10 Bentcliffe Lane, Leeds.

Most of her childhood was spent at 90 North Park Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds.

Stella attended Roundhay High School where she was Plantagenet house captain & keen athlete. She attained the Higher School Certificate in 1931. In June 1932 Stella won the Victrix Ludorum & a special cup for high jump, with a clearance of 4ft. 9in.

Left: Stella after winning victrix ludorum. Right: Stella, friend Doris with parents Flo and Harold Fenton on holiday in Devon

She was a member of Girl Guides from school age and was lieutenant at the 1st Roundhay St Edmunds Guide Company. She later became a Guide leader.

Stella was a county hockey player & represented 3 counties - Yorkshire, Westmorland and Staffordshire!


After leaving school she attended the Yorkshire College of Housecraft (known locally as ‘pud’ school). She then taught domestic science in Kendal for about a year. The 1939 register reveals that Stella was living at Sunny Croft, Ashby Road, Tamworth, Staffs, where she was a domestic science teacher at Tamworth Girls High School.  She was boarding with 2 other teachers. Due to WW2 the school was also home to the evacuated pupils & staff of West Bromwich Grammar School. This chain of events resulted in Stella meeting her future husband, Denys Horton, whose father was an assistant master at the Grammar School. Whilst Denys was home from Birmingham Medical School visiting his father, he attended a dance where the couple met.

At the age of 27 Stella married Denys Horton on May 3rd, 1941 at Parish church of St Edmund, Roundhay. Denys Horton was the son of Denys Horton & Gertrude Wall (both school teachers) of 74 Dagger Lane, West Bromwich born April 4th, 1918 at West Bromwich. Denys jnr was a medical practitioner.

In the war Denys (known as Peter) served as a surgeon lieutenant in the Royal Naval Voluntary Reserve & was mainly involved with working with convoys in the North Sea. He served on destroyers & with the Royal Marines. During the war years Peter & Stella lived for a while at 33 The Drive, Tynemouth with their first son Peter David, born September 1942. Whilst on leave in 1942 Peter went rabbit shooting which almost cost him his life – he was running down hill when he fell & ruptured his intestine.

In 1945, second son John Denys was born in Leeds where they were living at 3 The View, Roundhay. After Peter was demobbed, they moved in 1946 to Billinghay, Lincolnshire where Peter joined Dr Constance Hill in general practice. The family lived initially at Jasmine Cottage, Billinghay, then in 1948 at Sunny Ridge, Billinghay, where Richard Jeremy was born in 1949. In 1950 they moved to Gordon House, Billinghay where they lived for almost 30 years. Their home was attached to the surgery which meant that Peter (& Stella!) was always on hand for patients.

Gordon House & garden

Family life was of utmost importance to Peter & Stella. Family holidays centred around caravanning in both the UK & Europe, including trips to France, Norway & Yugoslavia. Gordon house had a large & beautiful garden & Stella won prizes for flowers and vegetables at local shows. They enjoyed travel – eg to Game Parks in Africa, to USA, Tobago, Southern Europe, UK, as well as walking, trout & salmon fishing & swimming. Another of their hobbies was studying wildlife, particularly birds – Stella built a hide to enable to study & film kingfishers at Tattershall. As well as being a skilled fly fisherman Peter was an excellent shot & loved to go rough shooting with his dogs in the Lincolnshire Fenns.

Richard, Stella & John salmon fishing on River Test - 1963

In 1977 they retired to ‘Copperfield’ in Canwick, Lincoln where they continued to be keen gardeners growing their own fruit & vegetables for many years. Peter & Stella celebrated their diamond wedding in 2001.

Stella died on January 10th, 2003 aged 89 at Canwick. Peter died on March 26th, 2003 aged 84 at Lincoln County Hospital, & both funeral services were at the Lincoln Crematorium.

The children of Stella Kathleen Fry & Denys Horton were:

h. Peter David Horton born Leeds, Yorks
h. John Denys Horton born Leeds, Yorks
h. Richard Jeremy Horton born Billinghay, Lincoln


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