Thursday, 27 April 2017

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John Fraser's George Cross offered at Dix Noonan Webb

John Fraser was awarded the George Cross for his astonishing bravery



A George Cross awarded posthumously to Scottish civil servant John Fraser after the second world war is to sell at Dix Noonan Webb.

Fraser served as Britain's civilian defence secretary in Hong Kong during the war. He was captured when the Japanese invaded in 1941.  

George Cross DNW
The George Cross is the highest honour that can be awarded to civilians in the UK

While imprisoned in the Stanley Internment Camp he organised radio communication with the outside world and prepared escape plans.

For this he was brutally beaten and tortured by his captors before being beheaded along with 31 suspected co-conspirators.

His citation reads: "Under this treatment he steadfastly refused to utter one word that could help the Japanese investigations or bring punishments to others.

"His fortitude under the most severe torture was such that it was commented on by the Japanese prison guards."

It's accompanied by a deeply poignant letter from Fraser to his wife: "This is my last letter. Loseby will look after affairs in Hong Kong.

"Ask Colonel Turner to advise you about things in England. Give the boys a good education and make them learn a trade or profession…

"Remember the only thing I cared about was you and the boys. Everything else gave way to that. My dearest love to you and Tom and Ian."

The George Cross is the highest award for bravery that civilans can receive in the UK and commonwealth.  

The record is £260,000 ($344,536), set last year for the one awarded to British spy Violette Szabo in 1945.

The present lot is valued at £150,000 ($199,000) ahead of the July 22 sale.

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Images: Dix Noonan Webb

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Last updated: 13 July 2016