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Ian Fraser, Lord Fraser of Lonsdale

On 14th October 1976 a memorial for Ian Fraser, Baron Fraser of Lonsdale, was unveiled in the west cloister of Westminster Abbey. The memorial, of blue Coniston slate with a bronze profile head, was designed by David McFall and given by Lord Fraser's family and St Dunstan's (a charity for the blind now re-named Blind Veterans UK).

The inscription reads:

IAN FRASER Baron Fraser of Lonsdale C.H. C.B.E. 1897 1974 Blinded in the Battle of the Somme in 1916, for half a century he served his country in both Houses of Parliament, championed the cause of ex-service men and women and inspired the blind of many nations by his leadership as Chairman of St Dunstan's

His coat of arms is shown above the tablet and at the base is a metal plate with a braille version of the inscription.

Lord Fraser was born in Eastbourne in Sussex, a son of William Percy Fraser and his wife Ethel (Cooke). He was educated at Marlborough School and Sandhurst Military Academy. As the inscription says, he was blinded on the Somme, by a sniper's bullet. He was Chairman of St Dunstan's from 1921-1974 and was knighted in 1934, becoming a Life Peer in 1958. From 1947-1958 he was National President of the Royal British Legion and served on the council of the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB). He also served as M.P. for Morecambe and Lonsdale and was made a Companion of Honour. He married Irene Mace in 1918 and they had one daughter. He died in London on 19th December 1974.

The centenary service for the charity was held in the Abbey on 6th October 2015.

Further Reading

Whereas I was blind, autobiography 1942

My story of St Dunstan's, 1961

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Blind Veterans UK

Died

19th December 1974

Memorial

14th October 1976

Occupation

Politician; soldier; philanthropist

Location

West Cloister

Memorial Type

Plaque

Ian Fraser, Lord Fraser of Lonsdale
Ian Fraser, Lord Fraser of Lonsdale memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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The Shrine of St Edward the Confessor is one of the most powerful features of the Abbey. To stand in the presence of a man who is both a saint and a monarch is awe-inspiring.

The Reverend Christopher Stoltz - Minor Canon

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