Personal info

  • Name: John Alexander FRASER
  • D.O.B: 12th February, 1896
  • D.O.A: 29th October, 1943
  • D.O.D: 29th October, 1943
  • Award: George Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Assistant Attorney General, Colonial Service, Hong Kong, attached British Army Aid Group

Sham Shui Po Internment Camp, Hong Kong December 1941-1943

25 December 1941 - 18 December 1943

Five posthumous GCs were awarded to men interned by the Japanese after the fall of Hong Kong who were subsequently executed by them for their gallant resistance to Japanese occupation. Temporary Colonel L A Newnham, Acting Captain D Ford and Flight Lieutenant H B Gray were interned at Sham Shui Po Camp north of Kowloon, where Gray was put in charge of runway construction at Kai Tak Airport, which allowed him to smuggle drugs and news into the camp. Together with others they made contact with Chinese agents of the British Army Aid Group to whom they managed to supply details about the Japanese military. They were arrested on 10 July 1943 after plans for a mass escape had been discovered and were starved and tortured for five months before their execution on 18 December 1943 but never disclosed any information about the others involved or the intelligence gathering operation. As an Indian officer from a distinguished Hyderabad family Acting Captain M A Ansari was the object of Japanese attempts to use him to subvert the loyalty of other Indian troops. His refusal to cooperate led to him being sent in 1942 and again in May 1943 to Stanley Jail, in the south of Hong Kong Island where he was starved and tortured. In the prison camp he helped establish a system for aiding escapers. J A Fraser was interned at the Civilian Camp at Stanley, where he helped organize escape plans and intelligence gathering.

Citation

 The KING has been graciously pleased to make the undermentioned awards of the GEORGE CROSS:– 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. 

Third Supplement to The London Gazette of 25 October 1946. 29 October 1946, Numb. 37771, p. 5307

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