132513 Maj Bill FRASER, Gordon Highlanders & SAS Original

Discussion in 'Special Forces' started by We Will Remember, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. We Will Remember

    We Will Remember New Member

    As a remembrance project i am trying to compile Major Bill Fraser's War Diary. Whilst still a work in progress i will share all i have in the hope someone maybe able to add to the project.

    Bill was a regular in the Gordon Highlanders before the war and was part of the BEF in 1940, escaping via Dunkirk.
    Lt Bill Fraser MC 8tp.jpg

    Bill was one of the founder members of the SAS, commanding Group A in No.1 section
    Nominal L det role 1-09-1941.jpg

    I think this is a photo of the 'Originals', and a possible identification of Bill
    thumb_Bill Fraser SAS Originals - utube - Version 2.jpg

    thumb_Bill Fraser SAS Originals - utube - Version 3_1024.jpg

    thumb_Bill Fraser SAS Originals - utube - Version 3_face2.jpg

    More to follow... thank-you for your interest
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  2. We Will Remember

    We Will Remember New Member

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  3. We Will Remember

    We Will Remember New Member

    A significant document in the history of the SAS - the transition from Layforce to L Det & the SAS.

    Bill Fraser gets a mention on the 18th - 74 years ago today

    Layforce to SAS.jpg
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  4. Debmoll2

    Debmoll2 New Member

    IMG_1344.JPG I believe these medals belonged to William Fraser from WW1.
    Sadly, other medals that were in the possession of my husband's family, were stolen.
  5. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Plse forgive my ignorance but what is the connection of the William Fraser KIA WW1 to Bill Fraser subject of this topic?

    Steve Y
  6. Debmoll2

    Debmoll2 New Member

    I think it's our ignorance, apologies. My husband's family had links with Bill Fraser, however sadly they are now deceased. Upon going through old photographs we came across this set of medals. My husband remembers the stories of the formation of the SAS and visiting him in Leamington Spa. To be honest, we are confused by the medals and we're hoping to get a bit more information about Bill Fraser. Thanks
  7. Debmoll2

    Debmoll2 New Member

    Could these have been his father's medals?
  8. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Your best bet would be to post on the Great War Forum -


    You will need to provide the service details - regiment & regimental number(s) shown on the rim of the 2 circular medals (British War & Victory Medals) and the detail on the rear of his 1914 Star. If you provide any family information so much the better - date & place of birth etc.

    You may be surprised at the information that can be found on GWF.

    Good Luck

    Steve Y
  9. William Fraser

    William Fraser New Member

    I was just reading through a book Called Rogue Heroes and i realized this man had the name Bill Fraser and that's my name well my name is William but every calls me Bill anyway i could be a descendant from Bill Fraser you guys are talking about?
  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi William


    I guess anyone called William (or a derivative of) Fraser could say the same - that they are possibly a descendant of him or yourself in fact.

    Remember the Bill Fraser in the SAS is not the same William Fraser whose WW1 medals are above.

    Perhaps you need to expand on your thoughts

  11. neil apedaile

    neil apedaile New Member

    I met Bill Fraser in the late 80s remember him telling me stories and then told me about a book he was in and a week or so later I went back in the pub I met him in warterloo and there he was whit the book which he signed for me.
  12. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I read this with interest, looking for any reference to a Lieut. Fraser, also with L-detachment, originally the Seaforth Highlanders.

    It must be said, Egypt has been mis-spelt as Eygpt throughout, which really needs correction.
  13. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Lt. William Fraser's citation for Military Cross

    "On the night 21st-22nd December 1941 this officer carried out a successful operation on the aerodrome East of AGEDABIA. He led his party of 4 men through enemy positions located and fixed by observation during the day of the 21st and succeeded in reaching the aerodrome without detection. He destroyed 37 aircraft, a bomb dump and fuel supplies and withdrew his party without loss, though enemy patrols attempting to intercept him."

    WO 373/19/82

    London Gazette 23rd April 1942

    Sgt. Du Vivier

    Thamet airfield?

    Attached Files:

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  14. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Major Fraser's Bar to his MC

    "Maj Fraser in command of ‘A’ Sqn, 1SAS Regt, was dropped behind the enemy lines by parachute on the night of 10/11 June 44, near VIEUXDUN to the west of DIJON, with a reconnaissance party to establish a base for his Sqn. This he did and ten days later he was joined by the whole of his Sqn. From that day until they were relieved on Sep 8th, the Sqn, under his direction, carried out continued and forceful attacks against the enemy’s transport and lines of communications and sent back daily a large amount of invaluable information about enemy movement, etc.

    Major Fraser himself lead many mobile patrols. While on one of these on Aug 29th Major Fraser in a jeep unexpectedly came to a main road along which a German troop carrying convoy was moving. Major Fraser immediately opened fire, called up his section of six men, and continued to engage the enemy for half an hour with two Bren guns and carbines before withdrawing, causing many casualties and much confusion. Major Fraser then withdrew along a side road which ran parallel to the main road and engaged another convoy on the main road…causing confusion, though casualtes could not be observed.

    Major Fraser then withdraw the section into a wood to have something to ear and reload magazines etc before got dark…there a third convoy was heard approaching leaving the section to continue the work in charge of an NCO Major Fraser, with one man and a Bren gun crawled over to the edge of the main road and engaged the convoy at fifty yards range.

    This time they were more on the alert and MGs, mortars and a bigger gun were fired off in all directions. Major Fraser continued firing until confusion was completely rife among the enemy. He then went back to his section and withdrew them for two miles. Two hours later the ‘battle’ was still heard to be raging. Next morning while visiting the scene of his first battle, two German cars with seven officers aboard, came down he road and all were destroyed.

    Throughout the three months that he was behind enemy lines, Major Fraser’s untiring leadership and spirit kept his men alert and their morale high and kept the enemy guessing and continually harassed. Major Fraser was entirely responsible for the great success of the operation [Houndsworth?] and his courage and resource were of the highest order."

    WO 373/53/566

    The citation as recommend by Major T.B. Loughton and signed by Major-General R.N. Gale

    Second part of the citation was inscrutable so have attached it.

    Attached Files:

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  15. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    which ran parallel

    though casualties could not be observed.

    the work in charge of a NCO
    (I think, despite 'an' NCO being correct).
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  16. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Thanks Charley, good eyes! Amended the changes.

    Thank you

    dbf's Operation Houndsworth report Major Fraser's is the first report.
  17. Hi folks. I wonder if I could get your views on the following? My sister in law posted the medal pic above - we did indeed have some medals stolen in the 80's and the ones above survived. Whose they are is a mystery though we'll take your advice and look on the GWF to see what we find out.
    Anyway, re: Bill Fraser: The story goes like this - my Dad met Major JJ Heath (obit attached) in Leamington Spa in the early 70's when he (Dad) was in the Territorials. When Heath died he left my Dad some medals which were supposed to include Bill Fraser WWIIs medals. As I say, we got burgled and they have gone. However, I hav e found some dog tags of W Fraser with a service number (?) of 8605 (pic attached). I have no idea if these are actually the tags of Bill Fraser SAS. As you can see though, in the same shortbread tin, there are some 1st SAS shoulder patches AND a dog tag for a 2nd Lt Mayne (also in pic). Could it be that it's Paddy Maynes' tag? That's all I have - what do you think? JJ Heath Obit small.jpg
    Fraser and Mayne tags small.jpg
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  18. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Dear Douglas, thank you so much for posting, it is very much appreciated.

    The items you have pictured here (Operational wings, shoulder titles, and identity tags) all look spot on (in my eyes) as far as being original items.

    I would make an educated guess that they were given/kept as souvenirs when further ID tags were issued on promotion.

    It's very much worth you giving forum member "Skip" a shout about these (if you wish to of course), as I'm sure he would be interested (as would the SAS Regiment Association)

    If the items prove to be "Original's originals" they will be of some worth (financial).

    Sentimental value = priceless.

    Keep them close.

    Kind regards, always,

    BrianHall1963 likes this.
  19. Thanks Jim, appreciate the reply. It's an interesting tale - wish the medals hadn't been nicked! I'll get in touch with Skip. Ta. D
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  20. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    A quick look forMajor Heath, re your newspaper clipping above;

    HEATH, John Joseph, M.C., D.C.M., M.M. Born
    4/9/87. In ranks 10 yrs. 285 dys. Wt. Off.
    Class 2, 8 vrs. 246 dvs. Wt. Off. Class 1,
    4 vrs. 264 dys. R. War. R. Qr.-Mr. 7/12/29.
    Lt! 7/12/29. Capt. 7/12/37. Maj. 7/12/41.
    1914-21. France & Belgium 4/10/14 to 12/9/16
    and 13/12/16 to 18/5/17. Wounded. 1914 S. and
    CI. B.W.M. V.M. M.C. D.C.M. M.M.

    The dear chap had some service too.

    Kind regards, always,

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