William Archibald Kenneth Fraser

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William Archibald Kenneth Fraser
Born 19 December 1886
Died 9 February 1969
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Indian Army
Years of service 40
Rank Major-General
Commands held South Persia Rifles
Sam Brownes Cavalry (12th Frontier Force)
Mhow Brigade
10th Indian Infantry Division
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath (1941)[1]
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1922)[2]
Distinguished Service Order (1919)[3] (1922)[4]
Member of the Royal Victorian Order (1928)[5]
Military Cross (1916)[6]
Mentioned in Despatches (1916)[7]
Military Cross (1st Class) (Belgium) (1948)[8]

William Archibald Kenneth Fraser, CB, CBE, DSO and Bar, MVO, MC (1886–1969) was an officer in the British Indian Army during World War I and World War II.

Military career[edit]

Born the son of Colonel James Fraser of the Royal Army Medical Corps, Fraser trained at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and then joined the Indian Army in 1905.[9] He served with the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers and 16th The Queen's Lancers on the Western Front during World War I taking part in the Great Retreat in August 1914, the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915 and the Battle of Arras in April 1917.[9]

He became Commanding Officer of the South Persia Rifles in 1919, Assistant Quartermaster General in 1920 and Inspector General of the South Persia Rifles later that year.[9] He went on to be military attaché in Kabul in 1922, military attaché in Teheran in 1924 and military Secretary to Governor of Bengal in 1930.[9] He was made Commandant of Sam Browne's Cavalry and Commander of the 10th (Jubbulpore) Infantry Brigade in 1936, a General Staff Officer Grade 1 at Lahore District in 1936 and Commander of the Mhow Brigade in 1938.[9]

He served in World War II and, having been promoted to major-general on 26 December 1940 with seniority from 21 April 1940,[10] he became Commander of the 10th Indian Infantry Division on 15 January 1941.[11]

During the Anglo-Iraqi War in 1941, the ground forces from India that landed in Basra were initially part of an operation codenamed Operation Sabine and, as a result, the force itself was known as Sabine Force. Fraser, commander of Indian 10th Infantry Division, arrived in Basra on 18 April with his headquarters, one brigade of infantry and a regiment of artillery and assumed command of all ground forces in the Kingdom of Iraq.[12] The name Iraqforce replaced Sabine Force[13] and as force levels built up Fraser was succeeded as commander of Iraqforce on 8 May by a more senior commander, Lieutenant-General Edward Quinan.[14] On 16 May, having fallen sick, Fraser was replaced as commander of the Indian 10th Infantry Division by Major-General William Slim.[15] Fraser retired on 1 June 1941.[16]

Fraser was then re-employed by the British Army in the rank of colonel from 18 December 1941 until November 1945 as the military attaché in Teheran; he was restored to the rank of major-general on retiring once again.[17]

Honours and Decorations[edit]

  • CB - 1 January 1941[1]
  • CBE - 29 September 1922 – for valuable services rendered in connection with minor military operations undertaken by the South Persia Rifles, to be dated 1 September 1922[2]
  • DSO - 12 September 1919 to date from 3 June 1919 for ‘distinguished services rendered in connection with military operations on the North West Frontier, India, in Persia and Trans-Caspasia.[3] & bar - 17 June 1921 for ‘distinguished services rendered in connection with minor military operations within the Indian Empire or territories adjacent thereto’[4]
  • MVO - 20 March 1928, for the visit of the King of Afghanistan[5]
  • MC - 14 January 1916 to date from 1 January 1916 – New Years honours[6]
  • Mentioned in despatches - 1 January 1916[7]
  • Belgian Military Cross 1st class - 14 May 1948[8]
  • Order of Astaur and sash awarded 1928 by Kingdom of Afghanistan

Personal life[edit]

He married in 1920 Cicely Annie Bill, widow of John Hugo Hepburn Bill (Wellington & Oxford), I.C.S. (they were married in 1911 and he was killed by Kurds 3 November 1919 whilst he was Lt-Col & Political Officer, Mosul, late resident at Bushire), daughter of Major Robert W. Bill and had one daughter, born 27 November 1923.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35029. p. 3. 1 January 1941. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 32751. p. 6893. 29 September 1922. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31547. p. 11458. 12 September 1919. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 32361. p. 4888. 17 June 1921. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  5. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 33368. p. 2017. 7 November 2012.
  6. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29438. p. 578. 11 January 1916. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  7. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29422. p. 75. 31 December 1915. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  8. ^ a b The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38288. p. 2921. 11 May 1948. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d e Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35105. p. 1509. 11 March 1941. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35127. p. 1971. 4 April 1941. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  12. ^ Playfair, p. 179.
  13. ^ Lyman, p.19
  14. ^ Playfair, p. 186.
  15. ^ Kempton, p. 71
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35241. p. 4584. 8 August 1941. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37503. p. 1423. 15 March 1946. Retrieved 7 November 2012.

References[edit]

  • Kempton, Chris (2003). Loyalty and Honour: the Indian Army: September 1939 - August 1947. Part I: Divisions. Milton Keynes: Military Press. ISBN 0-85420-228-5. 
  • Lyman, Robert (2006). Iraq 1941: The Battles for Basra, Habbaniya, Fallujah and Baghdad. Campaign. Oxford, New York: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-991-6. 
  • Mackenzie, Compton (1951). Eastern Epic. London: Chatto & Windus. OCLC 1412578. 
  • Playfair, Major-General I.S.O.; with Flynn, Captain F.C. (R.N.); Molony, Brigadier C.J.C. & Toomer, Air Vice-Marshall S.E. (2004) [1st. pub. HMSO:1956]. Butler, J.R.M, ed. The Mediterranean and Middle East, Volume II: The Germans come to the help of their Ally (1941). History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Military Series. Uckfield, UK: Naval & Military Press. ISBN 1-84574-066-1. 
  • Indian Army List (various dates)
  • Watson, Major-General W.A. King George's Own Central India Horse. 

External references[edit]