The Frazier Brothers in WW1
The two Frazier brothers, Rowland and Gordon both served in WW1 in very different capacities. Gordon, on commission, served with the 8th South Staffordshire Regiment but was wounded in October 1917 in the first Battle of Passchendaele. Nearly a year later, having recovered from his wounds, he returned to France and saw the war out with the 1/6th South Staffordshire Regiment. Read Gordon’s story here.
Rowland, after a year in the Royal Navy Voluntary Reserve on mine-sweeping duties in the North Sea, left, after receiving a commission, and became an observer in the Royal Navy Air Service. He was shot down in a bombing raid on Gereviz, Bulgaria on 1st December 1916 and spent the rest of the war as a POW. He wrote his own account of the bombing raid called ‘My most thrilling flight’ and also of his time as a POW, called ‘The secret maps’. ‘My most thrilling flight’ was published in the magazine Popular Flying and was edited by none other than Captain W E Johns, the author of the Biggles stories. The first edition of the magazine in April 1942 introduced the first published story of the fictional character Bigglesworth. Read Roland’s story here and you can also read his articles for Popular Flying and The National Review: ‘My most thrilling flight’ and ‘The secret maps’.
It may seem surprising that Rowland volunteered for the Royal Navy but there was in fact a strong maritime tradition in his family. Click here to read a brief Introduction to the Frazier family and see the Frazier family tree.