John Alexander Fraser GC

Name: John Alexander Fraser

Conflict: Second World War

Gazetted: October 29, 1946

Service: Civilian

John Alexander Fraser GC

Medal group

Place/date of birth: Edinburgh, Scotland/February 12, 1896

Rank when awarded GC (and later highest rank): Civilian

Date of bravery: December 1941-October 1943

London Gazette citation:

John Alexander Fraser (deceased), lately Assistant Attorney-General, Hong Kong

Fraser was interned by the Japanese in the Civilian Internment Camp, Stanley, and immediately organised escape plans and a clandestine wireless service. He was fully aware of the risks that he ran but engaged continuously in most dangerous activities and was successful, not only in receiving news from outside, but also in getting important information out of the Camp. Eventually he was arrested and subjected to prolonged and severe torture by the Japanese who were determined to obtain information from him and to make him implicate the others who were working with him. Under this treatment he steadfastly refused to utter one word that could help the Japanese investigations or bring punishment to others. His fortitude under the most severe torture was such that it was commented upon by the Japanese prison guards. Unable to break his spirit the Japanese finally executed him. His devotion to duty, outstanding courage and endurance were the source of very real inspiration to others and there can be no doubt the lives of those whom the Japanese were trying to implicate were saved by his magnificent conduct.

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Other decorations: MC & Bar

Place/date of death: Hong Kong/October 29, 1943

Grave/memorials: Collective grave, Stanley Military Cemetery, Hong Kong; plaque at Trinity Academy, Craighall Avenue, Edinburgh

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased at auction, Dix Noonan Webb, London, 2016

Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum