George Christian Fraser
June 23, 2015
FRASER, George Christian- – – – SPC 1897-1904
DoB:– – 1888, Sydney, NSW
Father:– – Angus Fraser
Mother:– – Mary
George Fraser was a boarder at St Patrick’s. In the College Annual of 1916-1917, he was one of several Old Boys mentioned with regard to his service at war:
-‘-¦Lieutenant George Fraser. Educated at SPC, joined the first military camp at Albury about six years ago. After receiving instruction there he was detailed to Sydney where he acted as instructor until last May, when he left for the front. He is attached to the 33rd Battalion, 9th Brigade, under the command of General Jobson, and is at present at Salisbury Plains.’
Service No:– 2061
Rank:- – Private, later Lieutenant
Unit:- – 33rd Battalion
George Christian Fraser enlisted on 28 April 1916, at the age of 27 years and nine months. He was a single man, five feet, eight inches tall, with a fair complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. His occupation was station overseer and accountant. He nominated his brother Angus James Fraser, of 196 Sussex Street, Sydney, as his next of kin.
Private Fraser embarked at Sydney on 24 August 1916 aboard the Anchises, and disembarked at Devonport, England on 11 October. It is likely that he picked up a chest infection on the way overseas from Australia, as he was admitted to the King George Hospital in London, with pneumonia on 22 November 1916 just a month after his arrival.
By 20 December 1916 he was considered fit enough to proceed to Etaples, France, where he was attached to the 33rd Battalion. Between April and May 1917 he attended an Officer Cadet course at Cambridge. By 19 September 1917 he returned to Rouelles, France.
The following month, in 15 October 1917, George Fraser was killed in action at Passchendaele, Belgium. He was 29 years old.
There were several eye witness accounts in the Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry files which reveal what happened at the time of his death:
-‘-¦ On the 15th Oct 1917, 5pm, 2nd Lieut Fraser went out to establish outposts about 300 yards in front of our line at Passchendaele. While he was establishing the posts, it was still light and he was seen and shot through the head by a sniper. He was buried where he fell. I knew him. He was in C Coy -¦’
-‘-¦ He was killed instantaneously by a sniper’s bullet. His body was brought in -¦ It was his first time in the line as an officer and his conduct was beyond all praise-¦ His only fault was that he was too brave -¦’
-‘-¦ I saw him killed at Passchendaele. He was hit by a piece of shell through the head. He was buried on the battlefield. I attended the funeral. There is a cross at his head bearing his name. The Lt who read the service was killed three hours afterwards-¦’
-‘-¦ the Lieutenant went on about 200 yards ahead to find a suitable spot for the strong post. The Huns spotted them and fired some verolite into the air so that they could see clearly and the Lieut was killed outright by a shot through the head-¦ He was a fine Officer and there was not a gamer man alive-¦’
2nd Lieutenant George Christian Fraser is remembered at Ypres on the Menin Gate Memorial.