Tributes have been paid to a highly decorated serviceman, who was commended for his bravery, following his death aged 56.

Adrian Fryer, known by his loved ones as “Ady”, was a beloved character in King’s Lynn and a popular local at the town’s Lord Napier pub and Steam House Café.

At a recent inquest into his death, the court heard how Mr Fryer joined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment, part of His Majesty's Reserve Air Forces, during the 1980s. 

He was assigned to the 2620 (County of Norfolk) Squadron and was based at RAF Marham as an RAF Regiment Gunner.

Eastern Daily Press: Adrian Ady FryerAdrian Ady Fryer (Image: Supplied)

A senior aircraftman, he went on to pursue a career in the French Foreign Legion (FFL) and received three of its highest awards for his action in the Gulf War.   

After several years of service, he retired from the FFL and returned to King’s Lynn. 

His sister, Tracy Waldron, attended the inquest held at Norfolk Coroner’s Court at County Hall. 

Eastern Daily Press: Adrian Fryer during his time at RAF Marham

She said: “He had an interesting life and kept a lot of people safe.

“But he did witness some awful things and I think it affected him.” 

She added that he had “struggled emotionally” following the death of his mother three years ago. 

“His character and personality had changed ever since her death,” she added. 

“He became a very quiet person; he seemed depressed a lot of the time.” 

Following his death, many paid tribute to him via an online memorial site. 

Veteran Chris Copeland said: “Ady was fearless, physically fit and professional. I am proud to say I served with Ady. 

“To my amazement, his medals were the highest award for bravery France could bestow on a person for his actions in the Gulf War.” 

And former Warrant Officer, Dave Davis, added: “He was instantly liked by everyone with his naivety and good nature.  

“Those that knew Ady and remained in contact knew the tough time he went through, but he prevailed, and his service and bravery was rewarded.  

Eastern Daily Press: Adrian "Ady" Fisher

“It was a pleasure to have known Ady and his life was cut short far too soon." 

Mr Fryer’s body was discovered in his home at Thomas Street in King's Lynn after his sister called Norfolk police with concerns for his welfare. 

Officers found him inside his house on March 9.

Evidence read out revealed that Mr Fryer had previously admitted to Wellbeing Norfolk that he had a “bad cocaine habit” and using it would exacerbate psychotic symptoms where he would believe he was back in the Foreign Legion fighting in Africa. 

Mr Fryer suffered from PTSD on his return to the town but made a life for himself and had some close friends. 

Miss Waldron said she was "always very close” with her brother but that his death and drug abuse had left her “absolutely shocked”. 

A toxicology report found he had died with cocaine and heroin in his system. 

Area coroner Samantha Goward concluded that his death was “drug-related”.

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