FRASER, Roderick
(Service number 9/419)

First Rank Trooper Last Rank Trooper


Date 8 October 1883 Place of Birth Geraldine

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment Dipton, Southland
Occupation Shepherd
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin (1) Helen FRASER, care of Nurse Sproull, Forth Street, Invercargill. (2) Miss C. FRASER (sister), Otago Boys High School, Dunedin; later Miss Charlotte FRASER (sister), Japanese Tea Rooms, Dee Street, Invercargill
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation (1) Main Body; (2) New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship (1) Otago Mounted Rifles; (2) 20th Reinforcements, New Zealand Mounted Rifles
Date (1) 16 October 1914; (2) 14 December 1916
Transport (1) Ruapehu or Hawkes Bay; (2) Moeraki, then transfer to Mooltan at Sydney
Embarked From (1) Port Chalmers, Dunedin; (2) Wellington Destination (1) Suez, Egypt; (2) Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Auckland Mounted Rifles

Military Awards

Service Medals 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 14 November 1917 Age 34 years
Place of Death Palestine, Middle East (in the Field)
Cause Killed in action
Notices Otago Daily Times, 8 December 1917; Otago Witness, 12 December 1917
Memorial or Cemetery Ayun Kara Memorial (destroyed), Palestine
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War I Hall of Memories; Glenorchy Fallen Soldiers' Memorial

Biographical Notes

Roderick Fraser, who was known as Roy, was born on 8 October 1883 at Orari, Geraldine, the youngest son of Frederick John and Helen Fraser. No name was given at his birth was registration in 1883. Along with his older brother, Eric Brockman Fraser, he was admitted to Rees Valley School at the head of Lake Wakatipu, Mrs Fraser being named as their parent/guardian. He may well have had some earlier schooling. From Rees Valley, he went to the Queenstown Convent School where he received most of his education. Madge, too, their youngest sister (aka Emily Madge), was admitted to Rees Valley School in 1894 and again in 1896. By the end of 1896 she was at the Queenstown Convent School, where she received a prize for politeness. An older brother, Tatton Gardiner Fraser, had been admitted to Ravensbourne School in May 1878 from St Leonards, where he had been for four years, and then he went to Waikouaiti School in August 1878. Two sisters, Charlotte (born in 1873) and Fanny (born in 1876), transferred to St Leonard’s School Dunedin from Orari, South Canterbury in January 1885, moving to Mornington School in August of that year. Mrs Fraser was again the parent/guardian in the admission record. Mrs F. J. Fraser may have conducted a private school at Hawksbury (near Wailouaiti) in 1873.

Several of Roy’s siblings predeceased him. It appears that Robert Salton and Isabel Mary may have died in infancy. Lucy Brockman (first-born?) died on 25 August 1866 at Waikouaiti, aged 3 years, and was buried in St John’s Anglican Cemetery at Waikouaiti. Fanny Honeywood (fourth daughter), who had at some time been resident in the Wakatipu area, died on 20 May 1904 at Dunedin, aged 27 years. Helen May (eldest daughter) died on 11 June 1911 at Wanganui, aged 45 years, and was buried at Wanganui. She was a nurse and had resided for some considerable time at Kinloch near Glenorchy and at Lake Te Anau, with her mother.

Roderick Fraser served in the South African War, Private 9399. He attested on 14 April 1902 at Addington, giving his age as 20 years, whereas he was only 18. Residing at Glenorchy, a shepherd and Roman Catholic, he named his mother as next-of-kin – Helen Fraser, Lake Te Anau, New Zealand. On his return he went to Lake Te Anau. In April 1905 Roderick wrote from Beaumont Station, Nightcaps, requesting that his Clasp (South Africa, 1902) be sent to that address. The 1911 electoral roll records Roderick Fraser as a shepherd at Glenorchy.

Roderick Fraser, a shepherd at Dipton, Southland, enlisted on the outbreak of war – 12 August 1914 at Invercargill. Single and Roman Catholic, he named his mother as next-of-kin – Helen Fraser, C/o Nurse Sproull, Forth Street, Invercargill. Trooper R. Fraser embarked with the Otago Mounted Rifles of the Main Body, departing from Port Chalmers, Dunedin, for Suez, Egypt, on 16 October 1914. He participated in the landing at Gallipoi. On 1 July 1915 at Gallipoli, Corporal Roderick (Roy) Fraser suffered a slight gunshot wound to his left hand and right thigh and was admitted to No. 7 General Hospital. At the time he was acting as one of the bodyguard of General Sir Ian Hamilton. He was to return, wounded, to New Zealand in September 1915, by the “Tahiti”, heading for Forth Street, Invercargill. He was discharged on 23 February 1916.

But, Roderick Fraser enlisted again, on 26 July 1916 at Featherston. His mother having died in March 1915, his sister Charlotte became his next-of-kin – Miss C. Fraser, Otago Boys High School, Dunedin, and afterwards – Miss Charlotte Fraser, Japanese Tea Rooms, Dee Street, Invercargill. Corporal R. Fraser embarked with the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, leaving Wellington on 14 December 1916 for Suez, Egypt. His transport was the “Moeraki”, transferring to the “Mooltan” at Sydney. On arrival in Egypt, he was attached to the Auckland Mounted Rifles. Corporal Roderick (Roy) Fraser was killed in action in Palestine, Middle East, on 14 December 1917, aged 34 years. His name was recorded on the Ayun Kara Memorial in Palestine, the memorial having been destroyed. His brother, Lieutenant Eric Brockman Fraser, was serving with the Auckland Infantry Brigade in France at the time of Roy’s death. “Of a lovable disposition, news of the death of Roy Fraser will be heard with regret by his many friends in Otago and Southland.” [Otago Witness. 12 December 1917.] Roderick Fraser was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His legal next-of-kin was his brother, Tatton Gardiner Fraser, of Wanganui. He and his sister, Emily Madge Fraser, consented to administration of Roy’s estate being granted to their sister, Charlotte Fraser. Charlotte was the one who said, on oath, that Roderick was born at Orari, that he was a station manager at Dipton, and that she had seen the official certificate of death. Roderick had no real property; his personal property consisted of a Life Assurance Policy and the balance of his military pay - £246.18.5 in total.

His loving sister (Charlotte) remembered him in 1918 and 1919 – In sad and loving memory of Anzac Corporal Roy Fraser, 9/419 Main Body, killed in action in Palestine, November 14, 1917. So loved so mourned. So loved, so missed. “Greater love hath no man” recorded the newspaper notices. His name is inscribed on the Glenorchy Fallen Soldiers’ Memorial. “In the annuals of the Head of Lake, March 28, 1924, will be red-lettered as one of the most memorable in its history. It was a day that spoke in eloquent tones of the high sense of duty of its people, and of their devotion to their King and Empire in a time of direst need; it was a day that saw in the unveiling and dedication of a Memorial to the fallen an inspiration to the generations that shall come after. Such a memorial stands for all that is good and true in human nature. It is, in reality a memorial to those who went and to those who acquiesced in that going; to those who fought on the far-off fields of battle and those who carried on in patient fortitude at home; to those who laid down their lives in a foreign land, and those brave hearts who oft now shed the silent tear. Nor must we forget the men who are forced to go through life handicapped by physical disabilities. In short, a Memorial of this kind symbolises in all their varying forms the sacrifices made in the defence of liberty and right. And the residents of the Head of the Lake are to be congratulated on the successful culmination of their efforts to perpetuate the memory of the noble deeds of their stalwart sons.” [Lake Wakatip Mail. 1 April 1944.]

His mother, who had leased hotels at Glenorchy, Queenstown and Te Anau since the 1890s, died in March 1915 at Invercargill where she was buried. It is not known when and where his father died but he had predeceased his mother, perhaps by many years, and his daughter Fanny who died in May 1904. His brother, Eric Brockman Fraser, a dentist at Waimate, also served in World War One, returning home and dying in 1961. His oldest brother, Tatton Gardener Fraser had married and died in 1933 at Waikanae, without issue. His sister, Sophia Charlotte Fraser, known as Charlotte or Lottie, was the next-of-kin for both Eric and Roderick. She died in November 1937 at Dunedin. His youngest sister, Emily Madge Fraser, known as Madge, married Alexander Gray Fraser in 1910. They had five children, the oldest and youngest dying in infancy. Madge died in 1947 and Alexander in 1974, both buried at Okaiawa, Taranaki.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [10 July 2022]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [07 July 2022]; School Admission records (Dunedin Branch NZSG) [10 July 2022]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [10 & 11 July 2022]; Probate record (Archives NZ/Family Search) [11 July 2022]; Lake Wakatipu Mail, 27 May 1904, 20 June 1911, 16 March 1915, 1 April 1924, Evening Star, 20 May 1904, Otago Witness, 25 May 1904, 21 June 1911, 4 August 1915, 12 December 1917 [x 3], 20 November 1918, 18 November 1919, Otago Daily Times, 6 June 1904, 19 June 1911, 13 March 1915, 15 July 1915, 8 December 1917, 14 November 1919, 29 November 1937, Southland Times, 12 & 13 March 1915, 16 November 1918, Lake County Press, 20 December 1917 (Papers Past) [09 & 11 July 2022]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, Teresa Scott, South Canterbury Genealogy Society

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