Published By John Davies
James Alexander Fraser was the middle of ten children born to William and Isabelle Fraser. They were originally from Scotland, he was a Tax Inspector and had jobs in Illchester, Somerset, followed by London, where James was born in 1881. By 1881 they had moved to Oswestry and were living at ‘The Lilacs’ on Park Avenue. They would later live on Morda Road. His father William died in February 1900 and the family moved to live on St Martin’s Road, Gobowen, by 1911 his mother had moved again to live at 22 Jennings Road, Oswestry.
No trace of James can be found for the 1901 Census, but it is known that he joined the army in (Oct) 1902 enlisting in 2 Bn KSLI – age 25. He was discharged in July 1906 and went onto the reserve lists. At this time he married Jane Ann (name?) and they lived at 23 Buxton Street, London Road in Manchester. He worked as a cleaner in a warehouse and would later change jobs to be a plasterer’s labourer. James and Jane would have 3 children – Donald (born 1906); Marian Isabella (born 1908) and William (born 1913).
Being on the reserve list James was mobilised in August 1914: he registered at Manchester and then reported to Shrewsbury on 7 September 1914 joining A Coy, 9 Bn KSLI at Pembroke Dock. In February he had a Medical Examination. He complained of severe coughs each winter. On examination he had bronchial breathing and had a barrel chest . He was categorised as totally unfit for service and was discharged underon 8 February 1915. He died at Manchester in September 1916. It is not known where he is buried – his mother (died 1940) and brothers William (died 1911) and Charles (died 1936) are buried in Oswestry Cemetery (U 269).