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British Industrial History

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Herbert Cecil Fraser

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Herbert Cecil Fraser (1884-1943)

1943 Obituary [1]

COLONEL HERBERT CECIL FRASER, D.S.O., O.B.E., T.D., was born near Leeds in 1884, and received his early education at Queen Elizabeth's School, Sevenoaks, and his technical training at the Manchester School of Technology. He was apprenticed to Lacey and Sillar, consulting engineers, through whom he acquired his first experience of the electricity supply industry with the Trafford Park Power and Light Supply Co. He then served with the South Lancashire Tramway Co. at Atherton and with the West Riding Tramway Co. at Wakefield until the outbreak of war in 1914. After the war he joined the Yorkshire Electric Power Co. in November, 1919, and remained with them for over 23 years until his death on the 11th February, 1943. He undertook the main responsibility for all staff matters and for buying coal. On the death of Mr. Woodhouse in March, 1940, he was appointed General Manager of the company and those associated with it, but, unhappily, the illness from which he, did not recover took him from active duty in September, 1941, after he had held office for less than 18 months. He was at heart a soldier. He joined the 1st/4th Territorial Battalion of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in 1910 and served in France with them from 1915 until he was wounded early in 1918, by which time he was in command of the Battalion. In 1918 and 1919 he commanded the 2nd/1st Battalion of the Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons in Ireland. He was awarded the D.S.O. in 1917 and the O.B.E. (Military Division) in 1935. From 1929 to 1935 he again commanded his old K.O.Y.L.I. Battalion, and succeeded Viscount Allendale as their Honorary Colonel in 1939.

Col. Fraser, who became an Associate Member of The Institution in 1920 and a Member in 1935, played an active part in the administration of the North Midland Centre, on whose Committee he served in various capacities from 1924 to 1939 and from 1941 until his death. He was Hon. Secretary from 1926 to 1932 and Chairman in the 1935-36 session. In 1932, during his term as Hon. Secretary, The Institution held its Summer Meeting in Yorkshire, and much of the success of the Meeting was due to the energy he put into making the arrangements and preparing the handbook describing them. In 1937, with Prof. C. L. Fortescue and Mr. F. H. Clough, he opened a discussion before The Institution on "Electrical Engineering Education," a subject in which he was deeply interested.

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