A commemoration service for Colour Serjeant (C/Sjt) 6019 Alexander John Cornish Fraser, 3rd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment took place at Withernsea (St. Nicholas) Churchyard on Saturday 12 November 2022.
Colour Serjeant Alexander Fraser served with the 3rd Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment during the First World War. Although he survived the war, he had contracted tuberculosis and died on 1st October 1920 soon after being discharged from the army. He was buried in a family grave at Withernsea (St Nicholas) Cemetery.
Tragically, his son Lance Corporal Afflick Alexander Pooley Fraser died on the 27th April 1944 whilst serving in the Second World War and was buried in the same grave as his father.
Colour Serjeant Fraser was not commemorated by the CWGC at the time of his son's burial but was awarded war grave status in June 2020. A grave found case established he was buried in the same grave as his son. The CWGC has moved the existing headstone to his son slightly over to the right and installing a Commission headstone to commemorate Colour Serjeant Fraser on the left. The personal inscription chosen by his widow in 1945 which features on his son's headstone reads:
ALSO HIS FATHER ALEXANDER
WHO DIED 1st OCTOBER 1920
“AGE SHALL NOT WEARY THEM,
NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN”. R.I.P.
Royal British Legion local branch President, Darren England, also volunteers for the CWGC’s Eyes On, Hands On volunteer project which helps to care for graves all over the UK.
Darren said: “I’ve always been interested in local military history and those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. That’s why I became a volunteer for the Eyes On, Hands On project at the CWGC.”
“While researching those on my local war memorial I noticed that one gentleman, C/Sjt Fraser, was not commemorated by CWGC.”
After months of painstaking research, Darren discovered he had died during the war years as a result of his service and been buried in Withernsea (St Nicholas) Cemetery.
Darren submitted all his research to the CWGC Commemorations team, who verified the details. C/Sjt Fraser was awarded war grave status in June 2020.
Darren added: “All the information was put forward to the CWGC team and after conducting their own research it was agreed he was a war casualty whose grave should be marked. The best part for me was seeing C/Sjt Fraser’s headstone placed next to his son’s headstone.”