William Archibald Kenneth Fraser
|William Archibald Kenneth Fraser|
|Born||19 December 1886|
|Died||9 February 1969
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
|Service/branch||British Indian Army|
|Years of service||40|
|Commands held||South Persia Rifles
Sam Brownes Cavalry (12th Frontier Force)
10th Indian Infantry Division
|Awards||Companion of the Order of the Bath (1941)
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1922)
Distinguished Service Order (1919) (1922)
Member of the Royal Victorian Order (1928)
Military Cross (1916)
Mentioned in Despatches (1916)
Military Cross (1st Class) (Belgium) (1948)
Born the son of Colonel James Fraser of the Royal Army Medical Corps, William trained at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and then joined the Indian Army in 1905. 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.
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. 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. 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.
He served in World War II and, having been promoted to major-general on 26 December 1940 with seniority from 21 April 1940, he became Commander of the 10th Indian Infantry Division on 15 January 1941.
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. The name Iraqforce replaced Sabine Force 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. On 16 May, having fallen sick, Fraser was replaced as commander of the Indian 10th Infantry Division by Major-General William Slim. Fraser retired on 1 June 1941.
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.
Honours and Decorations
- CB - 1 January 1941
- 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
- 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. & bar - 17 June 1921 for ‘distinguished services rendered in connection with minor military operations within the Indian Empire or territories adjacent thereto’
- MVO - 20 March 1928, for the visit of the King of Afghanistan
- MC - 14 January 1916 to date from 1 January 1916 – New Years honours
- Mentioned in despatches - 1 January 1916
- Military Cross, 1st class (Belgium) - 14 May 1948
- Order of Astaur and sash Afghanistan (1928)
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.
- The London Gazette: . 1 January 1941. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- The London Gazette: . 29 September 1922. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- The London Gazette: . 12 September 1919. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- The London Gazette: . 17 June 1921. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- The London Gazette: . 7 November 2012.
- The London Gazette: . 11 January 1916. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 1915. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- The London Gazette: . 11 May 1948. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
- The London Gazette: . 11 March 1941. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- The London Gazette: . 4 April 1941. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- Playfair, p. 179.
- Lyman, p.19
- Playfair, p. 186.
- Kempton, p. 71
- The London Gazette: . 8 August 1941. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- The London Gazette: . 15 March 1946. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- 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-Marshal 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.