Simon FRASER MID

Poppy

FRASER, Simon

Service Number: 3101
Enlisted: 13 July 1915, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Second Lieutenant
Last Unit: 58th Infantry Battalion
Born: Byaduk, Victoria, Australia , 1878
Home Town: Byaduk, Southern Grampians, Victoria
Schooling: Byaduk State School, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in Action, Bullecourt, France, 11 May 1917
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Byaduk Pictorial Honour Roll, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

13 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3101, Melbourne, Victoria
26 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 3101, 22nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
26 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 3101, 22nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Commonwealth, Melbourne
19 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 3101, 57th Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)
11 May 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 58th Infantry Battalion, Bullecourt (Second)

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Simon Fraser was born at Byaduk, Victoria in 1877 to James amd Mary (nee McDonald). As a boy he attended Byaduk State School, Victoria and at the time of his enlistment in July 1915 was a farmer. He told the recruiting offer at the time that he had served 9 years with the Victorian Mounted Rifles as a an acting sergeant and sergeant and had been a member of the Byaduk Rifle Club for 11 or 12 years. He was then 38 years of age and no doubt it was due to his maturtity and experience that he was enlisted as an Acting Sergeant with the 7th reinforcemnts for 22nd Infantry Battalion. 

He embarked with with the 7th Reinforcements from Melbourne aboard HMAT Commonwealth on 26 November 1915 but was later transfered to the 57th Battalion which consisted primarily of men from the suburbes of Melbourne. 

The 57th along with the remainder of the 5th Division had only arrived in France in late June and on the 19th of July Sergeant Simon Fraser like all those who had not served at Gallipoli became involved in the AIF's first major battle on the Western Front.

The battle of Fromelles was a bloody disaster but fortunately for the men of the the 57th Battalion they been tasked in a supporting role for the overnight attack which ensured the battalion suffered relatively light casualties. However, there was a great deal of work still to be done and the 57th was next tasked with the holding of the line over the  ensuing days. It was for his "distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty" diuring this time and later that Brigadier General H.E. "Pompey" Elliott passed his recommendation to be Mentioned in Despatches. 

After successfully completing officer training Simon was posted to the 58th Battalion as a 2nd Lieutenant but sadly this now 40 year old brave officer and former farmer was killed in action on 11 May 1917. Although his grave has never been discovered he is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial and the "Cobbers Statue " sculptured by Peter Corlett ensure we will remember him.

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