Distinguished Conduct Medal, GV, L-6778 Gunner J. Fraser, “B” Battery, 291st London Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.
Officially impressed: “L-6778 Gnr: J. Fraser. B. 291 Lond: Bde: R.F.A. – T.F.”
Announced in the London Gazette, firstly on 19th November 1917 and on 6th February 1918, with the following recommendation:
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.
When his battery was being heavily shelled, whilst in action, this man assisted the wounded and helped to dig out men who had been buried.
He volunteered for dangerous duties of all kinds, and entered a gun pit while the camouflage was on fire and ammunition exploding, to see if any wounded still remained.
He showed great coolness and courage under circumstances of extreme danger.”
The Gazette noted he was from Glasgow.
By the time of the award, his bravery had finally caught up to him, he died of wounds received in action on 30th September 1917.
He died at the “33rd Field Ambulance”, he was only 22 years old.
His body was recovered and he was buried in the Bard Cottage Cemetery, in Belgium, buried in Grave Ref IV. I. 37.
He was the son of John and Margaret (nee O’Hare) Fraser, being born in 1895.
His pension was paid to his Aunt and sole heir, Elizabeth O’Hare.
He had not been in the Army long, additional entitled to the British War and Victory Medal for entry into the war from 1916 onwards, these were sent separately after the close of the war presumably to his Aunt.
Also noted as wounded in the Casualty List issued by the War Office, dated 24th August 1916, as a Driver.
According to the war diary, September 1917 was a particularly Gallant month for the unit, the men earning about 20 decorations for gallantry, and suffering many casualties including James Fraser:
“Casualties period in action 5/9/1917 – 30/10/1917
Officers, Killed: 2, Wounded: 4, Gassed: 8, Sick: 7 – Total 21
Other Ranks, Killed: 23, Died of Wounds: 13, Wounded 138, Gassed 36, Sick 75 – Total 285
Immediate Awards for this period:
Officers – Distinguished Service Order: 1, Military Cross, 3
Other Ranks, Distinguished Conduct Medals: 3, Military Medals: 14”