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49 Battalion
52nd Battalion
Cooloolabin via Yandina
3 March 1891
Albion, Brisbane
14 June 1917
HMAT Euripides
17 October 1917
Sydney, NSW

John Fraser was the second son of John and Janet Fraser of Cooloolabin. John was born at Albion, Qld, and was educated at Yandina State School.
This 26 year old Sunshine Coast hinterland teamster was familiar with firing a gun when he enlisted at the Adelaide Street Recruitment Centre in Brisbane on June 14, 1917 – he stated on his attestation papers that for the previous three years he had been a member of the Cooloolabin Rifle Club at North Arm.
After basic training at Bell’s Camp, Enoggera, Private Fraser was initially assigned to the 52nd Battalion. On October 17, 1917, he sailed with his Unit of fresh recruits from Sydney aboard the HMAT Euripides, disembarking at Devonport, England, on Boxing Day.
Then serving with the 49th Battalion John Fraser was wounded by mustard gas on May 14, 1918, and spent more than a month in a field hospital. On being returned to his Unit, Private Fraser took part in the now legendary attack to dislodge the enemy from Villers-Bretonneux. He was killed in action on August 12, 1918 near Bray, Somme, France.

Family History/Military Connection:
John’s brother, 2nd Lieut. William Fraser, left Brisbane for England on December 26, 1915, and joined the 7th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. William died of wounds October 25, 1916, aged 27 and is commemorated at the Arras Flying Services Memorial, France.

Cote 80 French National Cemetery, Etinehem:
Etinehem is a village in the Department of the Somme, on the north bank of the Somme River, a few kilometres south of Albert. The village of Etinehem remained in Allied hands until March 1918 and the great German advance. It was re-taken by the 50th Australian Battalion on August 10, 1918. Cote 80 French Cemetery, originally called Point 80 French Cemetery, was named from a road crossing nearby. In June-October 1918 two French field ambulances made this cemetery and another nearby at Cote 77. In the middle of the cemetery at Cote 80 they buried a number of Commonwealth soldiers, and in August 1918 Australian troops added graves to the existing Commonwealth rows, and more at the east end. After the Armistice the French authorities moved the French graves from Cote 77 to Cote 80. The cemetery now contains 49 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, five of which are unidentified.

The Chronicle 5 July 1918 p5, OUR HONOUR LIST - JUNE'S ADDITIONS
The seven casualty lists made public during the past month gave this district a share of their unwelcome attentions. Next list (410) reported Pte. John Fraser, of Cooloolabin as wounded (gas)....

Nam Chr 25 Oct 1918
Memorial Service
Pte John Fraser KIA 12 Aug – Cooloolabin School of Arts was filled to honour one of our boys. Rev RB Innes. Above the pulpit hung a memorial plate.

John was also a Freemason and belonged to the Masonic Lodge at Yandina.

Additional Information:

3636, Private, 10th Reinforcement, 52nd Battalion/49th Battalion, AIF.
b. 03.03.1891 Albion, Brisbane, Qld.
Enlisted: 14.06.1917 Brisbane, Qld.
d. 12.08.1918 France.
Next of Kin: Janet Fraser – Mother.

KIA France. Buried at Cote 80 French National Cemetery Etinehem, Picardie, France.

John Fraser was the son of John Fraser and Janet Grigor who were pioneer settlers of Cooloolabin via Yandina, Qld. They came from Scotland and settled first in the Newcastle District of New South Wales, then moved to Queensland. John and his brother William were educated at Yandina Provisional School. John became a teamster, possibly working with the logging camps of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. He was single and 26 years old when he enlisted in 1917.
John and his brother William both entered the First World War, John enlisted from Brisbane, his brother William enlisted in Britain.
John had been a member of the North Arm Rifle Club, which stood him in good stead when it came to marksmanship and handling the old .303 rifles issued to the army. They were heavy and reliable, but no match for the heavy artillery shells and gas hurled at them by the enemy.
John Fraser embarked in Sydney on the A14 Euripides bound for England and France. He was not long in the field when he was gassed. After a month in hospital recovering, he rejoined his unit in May 1918 to fight against the advancing enemy at Villiers-Bretonneux only to be killed in action in August 1918. It was the second cruel blow to his family, who had lost their son William in 1916.
John Fraser has been remembered on Panel 148 of the Commemorative Area in the Australian War memorial.

Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Qld BDM.

From the Genealogy Sunshine Coast publication

Killed in action
Did not return
12 August 1918
near Bray, Somme, France
Cote 80 French National Cemetery, Etinehem

Memorial Plaque, Cooloolabin Hall, Cooloolabin

Yandina and District War Memorial, Stevens St, Yandina

Maroochy Shire War Dead, Quota Park, Matthew Street, Nambour

Nambour (Maroochy Shire) Roll of Honor Scroll, Private Collection, Nambour (this scroll was available for sale to the public after the war)(on scroll twice as J Fraser Jnr and *J Fraser [died])


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