Findlay FRASER


FRASER, Findlay

Service Numbers: 2332, 2332A
Enlisted: 29 December 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Broken Hill, New South Wales, 1 May 1887
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: St Peters College, Adelaide
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Died of Illness (heart failure - while POW of Germany), Illness (Heart failure), Germany, 23 May 1917, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Cologne Southern Cemetery
Plot X, Row G, Grave . 6 , Cologne Southern Cemetery, Cologne, Germany
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

29 Dec 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2332, Adelaide, South Australia
9 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2332, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
9 Mar 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2332, 32nd Infantry Battalion, RMS Mongolia, Adelaide
11 Apr 1917: Imprisoned Bullecourt (First)
23 May 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2332A, 48th Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement 32nd Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)
Date unknown: Involvement 48th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

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After leaving school Findlay was employed as a clerical officer with Elder Smith and Co., Ltd in Adelaide and while there was a member of the Elder Rifle Club for six months.

Findlay joined the 4th quota of reinforcements for the 32nd Battalion on 16 January 1916 and sailed from Adelaide with that quota aboard RMS Mongolia on 9 March 1916; while in Egypt he was transferred to the newly raised 48th Battalion at Serapeum in April.

He was wounded at Pozières 5 -7 August and admitted to the 4th General Hospital at Camiers, then three days later transported aboard HS Newhaven from Calais to England.

After recovering from surgery to his right arm, shoulder and back, he was attached to 12th Training Battalion until in early February1917 whe he sailed aboard SS Victoria and rejoined the battalion in France. After the ‘First Bullecourt’ on 11 April, he listed as missing but it was later ascertained he had been shot in the left leg and taken prisoner.

The depleted 48th Battalion suffered the loss of a further 425 men during the night of 11 April and while many of them were killed, wounded or missing forever, others were taken prisoner and moved back to camps in Germany.

On 1 May 1917, although seriously ill at Dülmen PW Camp, Private Fraser, concerned about his mother’s anxiety, wrote to AIF headquarters requesting his mother be cabled to inform her he had been wounded in the left leg but was ‘doing well’ in Germany.

 Private Findlay Fraser died of heart failure while undergoing surgery to amputate his left leg at Dülmen on 23 May 1917; he was 30 years of age.


Extracted from the Book Fallen Saints by Robert Kearney