Medical Officers
Of the Malta Garrison
John Fraser
1819 – 1894

No 77 Surgeon-General John Fraser

MD (Ed 1840) LRCP (Ed 1840) CB (1859) QHP (1874)

12 Jan 1819 – 14 Nov 1894 [Edinburgh]

John Fraser
Surgeon General John Fraser (Lt Col Foster's collection of Netley photos - courtesy AMS Museum)

Surgeon-General John Fraser was the son of Rev. Simon Fraser of Stornoway. He was educated at Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities obtaining the degree of MD at Edinburgh in 1840.

He entered the Medical Department of the Army in 1841 but was not gazetted as full surgeon until 1852. He became Deputy Inspector General in 1858.

Surgeon-General John Fraser was a man of extreme simplicity of character, reticent about himself, but ever thoughtful of others, always anxious and willing to give a helping hand in every good work. Since his retirement in 1879, he resided at Edinburgh where he was prominent in many philanthropic and benevolent works. Whether as an Elder of the Free Church of Scotland or as a director of one of the many charities to which he was attached, or in his capacity as a private individual, Dr Fraser carried with him a peculiar and indefinable influence for good, which was bound to impress itself upon everyone with whom he came in contact.

Surgeon-General John Fraser died at 21 Chalmers Street Edinburgh from a cerebral haemorrhage. He was 75 years old. He had had a previous cerebral haemorrhage on 31 July 1893 which left him with partial paralysis. He recovered sufficiently to enable him to take some exercise but became weaker and succumbed to a second attack of cerebral haemorrhage on 14 November 1894.

His daughter was at South Africa in 1899 with the 2nd/Highland Light Infantry where together with Mrs Marshall, wife of Chaplain Rev Theodore Marshall DD, in their daily visits proved to be comforting blinks of warm sunlight.

Service Record

20 Aug 1841 Commissioned Staff Assistant Surgeon.

17 Sep 1841 Assistant Surgeon 2nd/Rifle Brigade.

24 Aug 1852 Gazetted Surgeon 21st (Royal North British) Fusiliers Regiment of Foot.

7 Apr 1854 Surgeon 2nd/Rifle Brigade.

Served with the 2nd/Rifle Brigade throughout the Eastern Campaign (1854 – 1855). He was present at the Battles of Alma, Inkerman, and siege and fall of Sebastopol. He received the Crimean Medal with three clasps, the Knight of the Legion of Honour, and the Turkish medal.

1857 On active service in the Indian Mutiny (1857 – 1859). He was employed in Bengal and the North-West Provinces. He was present at the capture of Lucknow and in several other decisive engagements (Koorse, Baree, Nugger, Nawabgunge, Goomtee, Sultampore, Amethee, Churdar, Fort Medjiddia, Bankee and Sitka Ghat in Nepal). He was twice mentioned in despatches by General Sir Hope Grant whilst serving with him in Oudh as senior medical officer. He received the Indian medal with clasp.

31 Dec 1858 Promoted Deputy Inspector General.

1859 Created a Companion of the Bath. Served in the East Indies.

1860 Served at Shorncliffe.

1862 – 1863 Served at New Brunswick and Colchester.

1864 – 1867 Served at Ceylon.

1867 – 1868 Served at Edinburgh.

1868 – 1871 Served at Jamaica and Barbados.

1872 Served at Manchester and Aldershot.

19 June 1872 Promoted Surgeon-General.

1873 – 1874 Served at Aldershot.

12 Aug 1874 Appointed Honorary Physician to Her Majesty.

1874 – 1875 Served at Netley.

Malta 5 Feb 1876 Arrived at Malta.

Malta 1877 Served at Malta.

Malta 1878 Served at Malta.

Malta 8 Jan 1879 Left Malta.

11 Jan 1879 Retired to half pay after a service of 37 years on full-pay.

1892 Received the Distinguished Service Pension.