Cecil Avelino De Fraga

June 21, 2015

DE FRAGA, Cecil Avelino- – – – – SPC 1897-1902

DoB:– – 1885, Mt Prospect, VIC

Father:- – Christopher Francis De Fraga (died 19 May 1902, Creswick)

Mother:- – Mary Jane, nee Marshall (died 1905)

Cecil was a boarder at St Patrick’s from Prahran, along with his three brothers -“ Cecil was the eldest, Percival (SPC 1897-1902, did not enlist), Norman (SPC 1899-1902) and Cliff (SPC 1902-1903).

Cecil completed Matriculation in 1902, gaining passes in Latin, English, French, Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, Physics and History. He was awarded with a gold watch. Cecil was also a member of the 1st XVIII football team of 1902.

Service No:– 2122

Rank:– – Warrant Officer, later 2nd Lieutenant, later Captain

Unit:– – Mechanical Transport Corps

Cecil De Fraga enlisted on 19 September 1914, by which time both his parents were deceased and his next of kin was his brother Percival -‘Percy’ De Fraga. Cecil was 29 years and three months old, five feet eight and a half inches tall, with a medium complexion, brown eyes and brown hair. He was unmarried, and was a Motor Mechanic apprenticed to a company known as Tarranto for 7 years.

He embarked aboard the Ceramic on 22 December 1914, and after undergoing further training in England, he proceeded overseas from London to Rouen, France on 10 July 1915.

He was promoted to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to the 1st Australian Divisional Supply Column (ASC), and then the 9th ASC. He injured his foot and was admitted to hospital where he received treatment between July and August 1916. After his discharge from hospital on 3 September he rejoined his unit at Havre, France.

In April and May 1917, (now) Captain De Fraga was granted leave to Nice, France. Upon his return, he was involved in an accident on 22 October 1917, where he received a compound fracture to his skull, and he died of those wounds the following day. The report stated:

-‘He was riding motor cycle which skidded, throwing rider over handle bars. He landed on the paved road on his head. Was in the performance of military duty (collecting spare parts for military vehicles). Was not to blame. No other person to blame. To be reported -“ Died of accidental injuries’.

There was an eye-witness report from Alfred Moon, Lieut Colonel Commanding -‘K’ Supply Column:

-‘-¦ I attended the burial service at 11am and as the result of information received proceeded to Caestre and instituted enquiries as to the accident. (Pte R Shaw, 11th North Fusiliers attached Garrison Battalion, Hants. Caestre) and learned that the facts of the case were as follows:

At about 4pm on the 22nd inst, Capt C de Fraga was seen approaching Caestre from the direction of Sylvestre Cappel, and when about 300 yards from the railway line cycle skidded, and the rider was thrown over the handle bars, falling on his head. First aid was rendered by a passing ambulance, and the injured Officer conveyed first to an isolation hospital nearby to which he could not be admitted. He was then at once taken to the Canadian Hosp, some half kilometre distant. After the injuries had been dressed, the patient was removed to 37th CCA [Casualty Clearing Station] Godewaaravalde but he died at 4.30am the following morning without gaining consciousness-¦’

Captain Cecil De Fraga died of his injuries on 23 October, 1917 at the age of 32. He was buried at Godewaaravalde Military Cemetery, Belgium.