- Ian Fraser, Baron Fraser of Lonsdale
William Jocelyn Ian Fraser, Baron Fraser of Lonsdale CH CBE, (
30 August 1897– 19 December 1974), known as Ian Fraser, was Chairman of St Dunstans, a charity for blind serviceman, Governor of the BBC, businessman and a British politician in the Conservative Party.
Early life and war injury
Fraser was the son of William Percy Fraser a businessman of South Africa, who played a role in the development of
Johannesburg. He was born in England but spent his early years in South Africa. He returned to England and was educated at St Cyprian's School Eastbourneand Marlborough College. He went to Sandhurstat the start of World War Iand in the spring of 1916, he was sent out to join the army in France where he was a Captainin the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. At the Battle of the Sommeon 23 July 1916, a German bullet blinded him. He was sent back to England to the Officers Ward of the London General Hospital and when the bandages were finally removed it was found that he had lost the sight of both eyes.
Sir Arthur Pearson, the Chairman of
St Dunstan's, the independent charity for blind servicemen and women, wrote him a letter explaining how he had gone blind in middle life and how he had made the best of it. He told how he had established St Dunstans to train war-blinded men and invited him to go there. The letter was delivered to him by Irene "Chips" Mace whom he later married. He accepted the invitation and when Sir Arthur died after an accident in his bathroom, Fraser, aged twenty-four, was chosen to succeed him as Chairman, a position he held for 52 years. He wrote his autobiography "Whereas I was Blind" at the beginning of World War IIas encouragement in anticipation of soldiers being blinded once again.
Political life and BBC
Fraser became MP for St. Pancras North by a narrow majority at the 1924 general election. After losing the seat in the 1929 general election, he regained it in 1931. In 1934, he received a knighthood in recognition of the effort that he had put into developing St Dunstans, and two years later he was appointed a Governor of the
BBC. Being on the committee of the BBC, he was no longer allowed to remain a Member of Parliamentand resigned his seat. However, in April 1940, the Prime Minister Winston Churchillintroduced an Act of Parliament, which allowed certain people to be members of parliament and to hold office in the BBC in the public interest during the war. Fraser was elected for Lonsdale in 1940, and held the seat until 1958.
Fraser also held many positions on the Boards of other companies. From 1936, he had been on the Advisory Council of the company Frasers Limited, which had been set up by two uncles trading in Southern Africa. This advisory council was made up of members of the Frasers family, living in England, to whom the Board of Frasers had to report from time to time. He was elected to the Board of Frasers Ltd in 1954 and became Chairman after the sudden death of Douglas Fraser in 1956. He would spend two to three months every year at Fraser House in Wepener
Honours and personal
Fraser was appointed a
Companion of Honourin 1953 and in 1958 became the first life peercreated under the Life Peerages Act 1958which had been introduced by Harold Macmillan. He took the title of Baron Fraser of Lonsdale, of Regent's Parkin the County of Londonon 1 August 1958.
Lord Redcliffe-Maud said at the service of Thanksgiving held in
Westminster Abbeyon Tuesday 4 February 1975. :"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills. Therefore, indeed we would if we have eyes to lift. However, the achievement of Ian Fraser's life can be summed up like this; he lifted up the loss of his eyes, in bounden duty and service, day by day for nearly 60 years of his 77 years of life. That living sacrifice was accepted and made creative of great good. It has put new heart into tens of thousands of the sightless (and the sighted) that came within its influence, and nothing will stop the good work now. It would never be the same as if Lord Fraser had not lived and learnt the mystery of the road of Suffering".
Lord Fraser's ashes are buried behind a memorial tablet in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey.
Fraser married Irene Mace (or "Chips" as he called her) the girl who had delivered Pearson's letter and who he said at the time wore the smoothest and most beautiful kid gloves that he had ever felt. He dedicated the book he wrote in 1961 to her saying that she had more influence over the affairs of St Dunstans that any other women possibly than any other person.
*"Whereas I was Blind:Autobiography" Hodder 1942
*"My Story of St Dunstan's" Harrap 1961
[http://www.lordfraser.co.za/londsdale_information.htm Fraser company fact sheet]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Ian Fraser — Ian Fraser, or Ian Frazer, may refer to:* Ian Fraser (broadcaster) (born 1948), New Zealand television interviewer and executive * Ian Fraser (naturalist) (born 1951), Australian naturalist * Ian Fraser (politician), New Zealand politician,… … Wikipedia
Fraser (surname) — Family name name= Fraser imagesize= 200 px caption= pronunciation = meaning = region = origin = Scottish related names = footnotes = Fraser is a surname, of Scottish origin (see Clan Fraser), and may refer to many people.compactTOC. A* Alex… … Wikipedia
William Fraser — may refer to:*William Fraser (bishop), Bishop of St Andrews, Guardian of Scotland during the First Interregnum 1290 1292, during the Wars of Scottish Independence *William Fraser (historian) (1816 1898), Professor of Scottish History *William… … Wikipedia
List of Conservative Party (UK) MPs — This is a list of Conservative Party MPs. It includes all Members of Parliament elected to the British House of Commons representing the Conservative Party from 1834 onwards. Members of the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly or the European… … Wikipedia
List of Old Marlburians — The following is a list of notable Old Marlburians, former pupils of Marlborough College, Wiltshire, England. Contents 1 Academia 2 Arts 3 Literature 4 Music … Wikipedia
St Pancras North (UK Parliament constituency) — UK former constituency infobox Name = St Pancras North Type = Borough Year = 1885 Abolition = 1983 members = oneSt. Pancras North was a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elected… … Wikipedia
Britischer Adel — Der britische Adel entwickelte sich aus den Grundlagen, die Wilhelm der Eroberer durch die nach 1070 einsetzende Enteignung des älteren britischen Adels geschaffen hatte. Anstatt der bisherigen Besitzer von Grund und Boden setzte Wilhelm seine… … Deutsch Wikipedia
1958 in the United Kingdom — Events from the year 1958 in the United Kingdom.Incumbents*Monarch HM Queen Elizabeth II *Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, Conservative PartyEvents* 6 January Chancellor of the Exchequer Peter Thorneycroft resigns over opposition to spending cuts … Wikipedia
St Cyprian's School — Infobox UK school name = St Cyprian’s School size = latitude = longitude = dms = motto = Forsan et haec olim memenisse juvabit motto pl = established = 1899 approx = closed = c approx = 1943 type = Preparatory School (UK) Boarding school religion … Wikipedia
List of abbeys and priories in England — Contents 1 Overview 1.1 Article layout 2 Abbreviations and key … Wikipedia