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Arthur James Fraiser

Irene Fang's Fallen Soldier

Arthur James Fraiser

Arther James Fraiser was born in Seaforth on April 27, 1923. His family would have attended St Thomas Anglican Church. He completed Grade VII and left school at age 14. Prior to his enlistment, he was employed at Smith’s Billiards in Seaforth. He was a volunteer in the Reservers with the Middlesex Huron Regiment from November 1939 until Octover of 1941.

Later on, at the age of 18, Arthur enlisted into the Canadian Army in London, Ontario on October 1, 1941. When he enlisted, he was 5’ 7” in height and weighed 131 pounds. He had a dark complexion with hazel eyes and blonde hair. During this time he received the rank of Private and then attached to the Elgin Regiment presently training in Sussex - New Brunswick.

On November 19, 1943 while still with the Employment Platoon of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division he is posted to No. 1 Canadian Non Effective Transit Depot and on November 24 he is posted to No. 3 Canadian Infantry Reinforcement Unit and the next day goes to "H" Wing. On December 21 he transfers from the Canadian Armoured Corps to the Canadian Infantry Corps General List.

On January 6, 1944 Private Fraiser is Taken on Service with the Highland Light Infantry of Canada. While training in the United Kingdom, he was AWOL (absent without [permission to] leave) once and is confined to barracks for three days and loses a day of pay. In addition, he commits an offence and receives 7 days of field punishment and loses 7 days of pay.

On June 4 the Highland Light Infantry of Canada embark from the United Kingdom and on D-Day - June 6 they come ashore onto Juneau Beach and the sand of Normandy. In the Battle of Normandy, the Canadians found themselves hampered by the German fortifications in the
towns of Tilly-la-Campagne and Tilly-sur-Seulles.

Private Fraiser participated in operation “Charnwood”. That day, the HLI had their breakfast about 04:30 hours. The Battle for Caen began with a barrage from 656 guns, and it was so intense the sun was obscured. The objective was the capture Chateau de St. Louet, Authie along with the high ground south of Buron.

The objective of the HLI was to take Galmanchie and clear out Buron. With the bagpipes blowing the infantry advanced with tank support. Despite constant German shelling and counterattacks, all companies had accomplished their goals. Due to the intense shelling, the large number of casualties, a shortage of stretcher bearers, and inadequate transportation, the injured could not be transported to safety. By the time night set on July 8, not a single building in Buron remained intact, and the death toll was over fifty percent, with 62 men lost their lives and over two hundred injured. Among them, during the bloody and fierce day of battle, Private Fraiser was wounded and eventually was taken to No. 23 Canadian Field Ambulance where he could not survive his wounds.

During the month of October 1944 Mrs. Fraiser received the Memorial Cross. In January 1950 his mother Jeanette received the medals awarded to Arthur which included the 1939-45 Star, the France-Germany Star, the Defence and War Medals along with the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with clasp.

Private Arthur James Fraiser is honoured and remembered on the Memorial Plaque of St. Thomas Anglican Church and has his name etched on the stone of the Seaforth Cenotaph. He is also remembered in the Books of Remembrance, which are located in the Centre Block of the Canadian Parliament and on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

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