Admiral of the Fleet
Sir bruce Austin Fraser
G.C.B., k.b.e.
Baron fraser of north cape

Updated 18-Oct-2007

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Bruce Fraser

Personal Details
Event Date / details Source
Date of Birth 5 February 1888 1
Place of Birth Acton 1
Name of father General Alexander Fraser 6
Profession of father    
Wife's Name Never married 4
Date of Death 13 February 1981 4
Place of Burial    

Rank History
Rank Date attained Source
Entered Service 5 February 1888 2
Midshipman 15 January 1904 1
Sub-Lieutenant 15 March 1907 1
Lieutenant 15 March 1908 1
Lieutenant-Commander 15 March 1916 1
Commander 30 June 1919 1
Captain 30 June 1926 1
Rear-Admiral 11 January 1938 1
Vice-Admiral 8 May 1940 1
Admiral 7 February 1944 2
Admiral of the Fleet 22 October 1948 4

Honours and Knighthoods
Honour or Knighthood Date awarded Date Gazetted Source
Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire OBE (M) 17 July 1919 15 July 1919 5
Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB (Mil)) 2 January 1939 30 December 1938 5
Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (K.B.E.)
Birthday Honours
1 July 1941 27 June 1941 5
KCB June 1943   4
GCB Dec 1943?   4
Created Baron 1 January 1946 28 December 1945 5
First and Principal Naval Aide de Camp to His Majesty King George VI (to 3 October 1948 - LG 8 October 1948)      
Designation 'of North Cape' added to Baronial title 24 September 1946 24 September 1946 5
Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) Not yet found Not yet found  

Rewards & Distinctions
Source: ADM 196/56 Service History
Gained 4 mths time on passing out of Britannia
Jan / 09 £10 prize for 6 1st class certs
Awarded Commdr Egerton prize for year 1911-12 (CW 14253)
OBE (M) Gaz 17.7.19
CW6581/36 Awarded G.S.P. of £150 p.a. from 13th July 1936
CW 6592/36 - Appts A.D.C. to the King - 19th July 1936
CB (Mil) New Year Honours Jan 1939 Ldn Gazette 2.1.39
K.B.E. Gaz. 1/7/41
Created Baron Gaz 1-1-46

Source: ADM 196/56 Service History
15 MAr 07 Passed Seamanship 1 Cl 944/1000
Sept 07 Passed Part I (takes Part II)
1 Nov 07 Passed Torpedo 1st Cl 189/200
13 Dec 07 Passed Pilotage 1 Cl 918/1000
3 Apl 08 Passed Gunnery 1 Cl 899/1000
Dec 08 Passed Part II A1. B1.

Special Attainments or Qualifications
Source: ADM 196/56 Service History
1912 Quald G duties
30 June 1913 Quald (G) +

Despatches and other relevant documents

Service / Appointments History
Ship Station Date of
Date of
Cause Source
Britannia Trg Ship 16/9/02 15/1/04 Passed out 1
Hannibal Portsmth 15/1/04 22.2.05   1
Prince George tempy on recomg   22.2.05 15/3/07   1
Goliath tempy   15/3/07 22/4/07 Course 1
Triumph Chan 13.5.07 17.9.07   1
Gipsy Manrs 30.6.08     1
Lancaster Med 16.1.09 30.5.10 P.O. 1
in lieu of Sub Lieut.   19.6.09
Patrol   28.6.10   Manrs 1
Bodicea H.F. 8.8.10 31.7.11   1
Excellent to qualy in G   31.7.11 13.9.12   1
Thrasher   2.7.12   Manrs 1
Excellent (G) add   13.9.12     1
Lent R.N. Coll Greenwich for advnaced course   1.10.12     1
Irrisistible in lieu of ???   15.7.13     1
Minerva (G)   7.14   Test Mobn 1
Minerva (G)   1.8.14 8.4.16 England 1
Excellent add (G)   1-6-16 15.6.16    
Victory addl (G) for Resolution & Resolution (G) on Commg   15.6.16 5.11.19   1
Lent Royal Sovereign for short period prior ot commg of Resolution   6.16   1
Re-apptd on promotion   30.6.19   1
Resolution as Cdr. of ships   5.11.19 19.4.20   1
Resolution (G)   15.6.16 26.5.20   2
Julius for Enzeli Expedition   19.4.20     1
  25.4.20 4.5.20   2
Excellent   10.1.20 8.6.22   1
Excellent (Staff)   10.1.21 7.6.22   2
President addl for duty with DNO / DTM   8.6.22 20/12/24   1
Duty with D.N.O. & D.T.M.   8.6.22 19.12.24   2
Queen Elizabeth addl & on staff on CinC as Fleet (G) Officer vice Holland on joining   20/12/24     1
Q. Elizabeth (Fleet G. Officer)   21.12.24 21.5.26   2
Warspite addl as (G) offr on transfer of Flag   26 8.26 supd 1
  21.5.26     2
Victory for SOTC Part II   18.10.26      
    10.12.26   2
President addl   24.1.27      
& as Head of Tactical Section of Naval Staff ?vice Taylor?   31.1.27      
Presidet addl for duty in Tactical Division   24.12.28 26.8.29 supd  
    15.9.29   2
???? Effingham addl & Effingham in cmd & as Flag Capt. & Chief of Staff to V/A BS Thesiger ??????   16.10.29     1
  6.9.29 30.9.32    
& on recomg   3/30 8.8.32 Supd as FC &Cof S 1
Vivid addl for Leander & Leander in cd (G) on comg for trials   25.11.32 21.12.32 supd 1
Vivid for Leander   10.11.32 20.12.32   2
& Leander i/c on commg for trials   25.11.32   2
Victory addl for Senior Officers Technical Cse   24.4.32 1933?   1
Technical Course   24.4.33 26.6.33   2
President Addl (D.L. 9/5)
  15.7.33     1
& as Director of Naval Ordnance   12.8.33 20.4.36 DL 6/3 Supd 1
    22.4.36   2
Victory addl for S.O.'s Tact. Cse (DL 20/4)   11.5.36     1
    21.5.36   2
Glorious addl   22.5.36     1
      3.1.38   2
& Glorious addl in Cmd and as Flag Capt & C.S.O. to R/A Aircraft Carrirers v Rawlings (DL 21/5)   36 7.12.37 Supd 1
Victory addl for Cornwall & Cornwall in Cmd on cmg. Trails & Service (DL 1/6)   27/8/37      
Warspite addl   1.4.38     1
& as COS to Adml Sir ADR Pound v Edward-Collins (DL 24/2)   2.5.38 6.2.38 DL 24/1 Supd 1
  1.5.38 5.2.39   2
To be a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty and Controller in succession to Admiral Sir Regd GH Henderson KCB CW 3693/39 (DL 28/2/39)   1.3.39     1
    4.42   2
To be V/A Cmdg Second B.S. and second in Cmd H.F. in succession to V/A A.T.B. Curteis, C.B. (DL 26/5)   28.6.42     1
D/L 23/6 President addl whilst unemployed   22.5.42      
& President addl for tempy duty inside Adty with D of T not exceedig 2 wks   22.6.42     1
    27.6.42   2
Vice Admiral Commanding 2nd Battle Squadron & 2nd in Cd. Home Fleet vice Curteis   28.6.42 14.4.43   2
  16 June 42      
To be C in C H. F. with acting rank of Ad. in succession to Ad. Sir John Tovey   15.4.43
Re-apptd   7.2.44     2

Source: ADM 196/51 - Service History
Date of Report General Conduct Ability Professional knowledge, specifying any particular branch Whether temperate habits Special knowledge or acquirements (Languages, Drawing, & c.) Remarks, mentioning any special defects or high qualifications as regards Zeal, Judgment, Physical Qualities, & c., and if specially recommended for advancement. Remarks
Dec 04 VGI VGI VG Yes Draws & paints knows some French Zealous & hardwkg. Promises v well. Capt. Tate
Jan 06 VG VG VG Yes   -----"----- ?????
Jan 07 VG VG VG Yes   Zealous & painstaking ---"---
Dec 09 VGI VGI VG     Zealous & capable. Promising Capt Fremantle
5/10 VGI VGI VG Yes   Zealous & able. Rec for (G) Capt. Tothill
12/10 VGI VGI VG Yes   Zealous Cdre Charlton
6.11 All VGI Yes ?V? able & trusty Gd phys. Recd to qualify for (G) Lt. Cdre Arbuthnot
8.14 Satis. Except. Clever & painstaking good work ?promising? D.F. book & Assting in revision of (G) Manual Capt. Singer
Oct 17 Satis. Exceptional (b) Exceptionally good. Would do well anywhere. RA Bruen
9/18 Sat. Ex. (a) Keen, clever & very efficient. Strongly recommended for promn R/A Barttelot
3/19 Sat ex most efficient & reliable officer good cd of men. Cpt. Woodhouse
11.22 Sat abav Has ????? his difficult duties quickly & well, most able & reliable ex. judgment good initiative. Capt. Backhouse
12.24 Sat ab av. (b) xlent administrative ability Capt. Money
6/25 Sat ab av. (b) very tactful, very reliable, zealous. Capt Domvile Recd for early promotion Adml ?Brock?

Special Reports or Service
Source: ADM 196/56 Service History
22 Aprl 07 Joined Whale Isd (I)
Aploy unable to finish Part I exam owig to sickness: sent to sea till next exam
A4331/09 commended for cred results in Ronald Megaw Prize competition
W/K recd Jan 09
Name noted to qualify in (G) July 1910
Appreciation of Services in Compilation of Handbook for Director Firing G. 0404/14
Tel 26/4/16 Leaves Columbo 26/4/16 by Derbyshire
To be lent to a ship in Grand Fleet for short period prior to ship commg
CW9965/19 O.B.E. (M) for valuable services as Gunnery Officer of HMS Resolution 1st BS Gaz ?17.7.17?
Recommended for promotion Dec 1917 Ad Madden
Invested OBE(M) at Holyrood Palace 4/12/19
Recd for promotion June 1919 Ad Madden
5.5.20 Wire from CinC Medn included in NAval party sent to Engeli & captured en route by Bolsheviks & detained under surveillence at Baku.
2.9.20 V.A.C. 1st B.S. infd that no action is being taken on confidential report as to this officer in view of his remarks thereon (Report dated 24.6.20 lack of experience)
9.6.20 Information via Dutch Council confined to Babeloff Prison
Report from cd. ?Locke? removed to ??? house outside Bake on 13.8.20
Wire from CinC Medn 8.11.20 all naval ?prisoners? now arrived at ?Tifles? pending negotiations re exchange of prisoners
Wire from CinC Medn 11.11.20 Leaving Constantinople on board "Heliotope" for Malta & England 12.11.20
Arrived England alone (by land Gibr) 26.11.20
No 2/130/20 to be granted 3 weeks leave in addition to any foreign service leave due
G02137/25AL Jun 1926 TLs apprecn exd of seal displayed in production of new fire control table while serving in N.O.D.
CW 3762/33 application to visit Med Fleet not approved
Tel 1137/3/5/38 from CinC Med Officer assumed duties of CofS Med Fleet 2.5.38
CW 3762/33 (illegible)
CW 4747/39 reported sick on shore 14/3/39
CW 6574/39 returned to duty 20/3/39
0942B/ 27/6/42 from CinC HF hoisted Flag as VA 2BS & 2nd in Cd HF in Kenya 0800 28/6/42 & transferred to Anson 0800 29/6/42
HF0827B 29/6 Flag to be transferred tp Victorious pm 29/6/42
CinC HF 1739 8/7/42 Flag of VA2 transferred to Anson 1830 8/7
Gazette 19.1.43 Awarded Grand Officer of the Order of Orange Norway bestowed by the Queen of the Netherlands for services to the R.N.N. in U.K. & Fart East.
To be CinC H.F. with Acting rank of Adl in succession to Adl Sir J.C. Tovey 15.4.43 *
* Unable to assume cd owing to ?the disposition now sea? 15/4/43
MDG 18068/43 Officer ?reported? sick on shore 10.1.43
MDG 18065/43 Adm Royal ?Masonic? Hosp. 14.4.43
SSBA 180 12/5/43 Flag as VA2BS struck ? 10.5.43 date Commodore Kinahan assumed duty

Captain's Confidential Reports
Source: ADM 196/92 -Captain's Confidential Report
Remarks Reporting Officer
17.7.19 Gazette 17.7.19 O.B.E. for valuable services as G. offr of "Resolution".  
28.4.20 Captured whilst en route to Enzali, Caspean Sea: detained at Baku under very severe conditions: released 5.11.25. T.L.s expressed (A.W.O. 3/21) appreciation of fine behaviour of all ranks in the trying circs of their imprisonment.  
6/25 - 8/26 A v. exceptional offr. Has a strong influence on those he comes into contact with. Has strong views on most subjects, but is nevertheless v. tactful. A strong personality. Physically fit. Good social qualities: does not take much part in social activities, but has no distaste for them. Recomd for further & more responsible employt. R/A Pound
6/25 - 8/26 Adm Keyes concurs generally adding "An exceptionally able staff offr. Likely to do well in the higher ranks." Adm Keyes
31/1/27 - 22/4/29 An exceptionally able Staff Officer who has proved a great success as Head of the Tactical Section. A strong personality which is combined with tactfulness. Recommended for employment as F.O. afloat. R Adml Pound.
24/12/28 - 25/8/29 Above average. I have formed a very high opinion of Capt. Fraser's tact, personality and social qualities. His service under me having been at the Admiralty only, I am not able to judge his power of command & leadership. Capt. Thursfield
A valuable officer who should go far. R/A Tomkinson
24.10.30 Inspn of Effingham: great credit due to Capt. F. (N.L. 3740/30)  
12/29 - 8/32 (c), (l) 5; (d) - 3; (e) 4; (f), (h) 7; (g) 8; (i) - at sea, 5, enclosed waters 9; (j) yes.
A hardworking & loyal officer who has served me well for 2.5 yers under, at times, trying climatic conditions. As Capt. of Effingham he has had a happy & efficient ship. He somwhat lacks qualities of leadership & command & is deficient in 'fire' & enthusiasm, tho he takes great interest in the training of personnel. With his kindly disposition he is apt to allow his heart to rule his head in dealing with his subordinates & his judgments is often not sound. Not afraid of responsibility, he handles his ship well in enclosed waters & has good nerve. As COS he has been helpful, especially in G. matters, but has not shown any outstanding qualities of initiative or imagination. He is an excellent lecturer & explains a situation well. Socially, altho' not in any sense of the word a 'man of the world', he is very popular & gets on well with everyone. Physically fit but does not take part in many games.
V/A Fullerton
15.7.33 - 22.4.34 (c) (d) (f) - 7; (e) I.K.; (g) (h) (l as D.N.O.) - 8; (m) yes; as far as possible to judge. I ahve been much struck with the raipdity with which Captain Fraser has picked up the threads of his by no means easy 'job.' A very loyal, tactful and pleasant officer of high technical attainments in gunnery matters with sound ideas on his profession generally. Possessed of sound common sense as far as can be judged from his present appointment should do well anywhere. Physically and socially sound. V/A C.M. Forbes 3rd Sea Lord
26.3.34 - 19.4.36 (h) - 9; (c) (d) (f) (g) 8' (l) I.K. I feel that few could be found to have done the arduous work on D.N.O. better. Is a thinker and not absorbed in Gunnery only has a very pleasant manner and sense of humour. Some may think that he is not very firm, but I don't think that is the case - he can hold his own and take charge. V/A Sir R.G.H. Henderson
12.8.36 - 14.7.37 (c) and (f) 6; (d) (e) (g) (h) (i) and (l) 7; (j) and (m) Yes A quite determined officer who has much more in him than meets the eye. He has certainly commanded "Glorious" with distinction. My association with him during exercises has shown that he is ready to carry out all his air requirements with judgment and success. I ahve been struck in my visits to his ship by the good spirit which animates both officers and men which is shown by the manners in which the upkeep of the ship has been maintained & her smart & clean appearance. He is most loyal and pleasant to deal with. Physically fit & socially most delightful. Vice-Admiral Sir Geoffrey Blake.
15 July 1937 - 7 Dec 1937 (c), (f) 6; (d), (g), (h), (i) and (l) 7; (j) and (m) yes. My opportunities of judging this officer's capabilities have been few but from them I am able to endorse the opinions expressed by my predecessor in his report of the 14 July 1937 Vice Admiral A.B. Cunningham
  Undated slip which appears to be page 3 with pages 1 and 2 missing

Captain Bruce A. Fraser O.B.E., A.D.C.

A first class Captain of a ship who is never afraid of taking responsibility.

A very good and quick brain. Very loyal and tactful.

A good disciplinarian.

Physically fit. Very popular.

A distinct sense of humour.

I expect to see Captain Fraser go very far in the Service

I give him a numerical assessment of 95.

Recommended for employment as Flag Officer.

(Sd.) Dudley Pound.
New Year 1939 C.B.  
20 February 1939 Med. No. 195/0629
The Secretary of the Admiralty

In accordance with King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions, Article 865, the following report is forwarded on Rear-Admiral B.A. Fraser, CB, OBE.

I consider Rear-Admiral Fraser comes in the 100 - 91 Class as being "outstanding in very way and strongly recommended for retention on the Vice-Admiral List.

Professional knowledge: exceptional.
Power of command: Exceptional.
Readiness to take responsibility: Exceptionally so.
Personality: A strong and foreceful personality combined with tact.
Physical activity: Very good indeed.
Ability to bring a broad-minded view to bear on matters of policy and PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Possesses this power to an exceptional degree.

Rear-Admiral Fraser has a very quick brain and possesses initiative.

He was a great success as Chief of Staff and did an immense amount of work.

He was loyalty personified which is not easy in the position he held for anyone who possesses a quick brain and has strong convictions.

With the experience he would gain in command of a squadron he should be admirably equipped for the command of one of the Main Fleets, and I hope his tenure of the appointment of Third Sea Lord and Controller will not be extended to such a period as will interfere with his career afloat.

(Sd) Dudley Pound.
12.6.39 - .6.42 (c) (d) (f) (g) (h) (i) ; (e) 7; (k) Yes. An exceptionally able officer who has been a great success as Controller. A strong character but inclined to be a little pigheaded at times. His judgment is not infallible. I have every reason to think that he will be a most successful Flag Officer afloat in war time. Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound
28th June 1942
  Order of Orange Nassau (Grand Officer) by Queen of Netherlands for services to R.N.N. in the U.K. & the Far East.  
Birthday 1943 K.C.B. (Military)  
5.1.44 Vice-Admiral (Acting Admira) Sir Bruce A. FRASER, K.C.B., K.B.E.


For good services rendered in the pursuit and destruction of the SCHARNHORST on the 26th December, 1943.

29.2.44 Admiral Sir Bruce Austin Fraser

G.C.B., K.B.E.

Awarded the Order of Suvorov, First Degree

For distinguished services in the action which resulted in the sinking of the German Battleship SCHARNHORST.

(L.G. 29.2.44)

Commander's Confidential Reports
Source: ADM 196/128 - Commander's Confidential Reports
Remarks Reporting Officer
  Awarded OBE /M for valuable services as (G) officer of HMS 'Resolution' 1st Battle Squadron Gazette 14.7.19  
7.1.20 S206. 7.1.20 Sat Ab av, An excellent Executive officer; extremely level headed & a fine organiser; handles the men with great tact & ability; he was a most able gunnery officer in the ship until he relieved Cdr. Bellairs; most popular in every way; charming manners & personality. Capt. Alington
25.4.20 With Enzeli Expedition  
4/5/20 Tele from CinC Med Believed captured by Bolsheviks at Baku. Reported at Adty 25.11.20. Was captured whilst in route to Enzeli Caspian Sea on 28/4/20 & detained at Baku under very severe conditions. Released 5.11.20.  
Jan 21 TLs expressed their appreciation of the fine behavious of all ranks in the trying circumstances of their imprisonment. AWO. ?/1921  
18.8.22 S206. 18.8.22 Sat Ex. (a) Very capable, keen brain, practical efficiency, great knowledge of (G) in all it's (sic) branches. Very tactful & offrs & men will do anything for him. His knowledge and character make him a very valuable Offr. Good physique. Capt. Mitchell
30/11/22 S206. 30/11/22 Sat Ab av. Appointed to D.T.M.'s Low Power Section but works also on D.N.O. on new Fire Control Table. Has learnt the very difficult & complex work in connection with the new Fire Control Table quickly & thoroughly. Most able & reliable offr. with excellent judgment & good initiative & decision. Gets on well with everyone. Capt. Blackhouse
  Fully concur. Capt. Donaldson
31.12.23 S206. 31.12.23 Sat. abav. (a) Most able & reliable. Applied himself with energy & success to development of new Exptl Fire Control Table on which he is now an expert & most difficult to replave. Has sound judgment & is tactful. Capt. Henley
  Concur. Has done most useful work & maintained excellent liaison between D.T.M. & D.N.O. Depts. Very able & zealous Offr. Capt. Donaldson
5.24 S206 5.24 Sat Abav (a) January report holds good. A very able & excellent offr. Capt. Donaldson
Dec 1924 R/A Fuller recommends for promotion (4)  
19.12.24 S206. 19.12.24 (a) (G) in L.P. Elect design dept. D.T.M. (b) (c) (g) Ex (d) (f) (h) Abav. (e) 2 Av. First rate physique, pleasant personality, even temperament. Excellent admin ability (n) 2. Recd Specially Capt. Mooney. Fully endorse D.T.M.'s report has been e,ployed on special work, development of Fire Control Tables & systems for new construction & is largely due to his tact, energy & admin ability that develpoment has reached present advanced successful stage. Can confidently recommend him for special promotion. Eminently fitted for Staff work. Capt. Stenley
8.6.25 S206A 8.6.25 (a) Fleet (G) All abav except (c) Ex (e) 1 Staff offr. (f) very tactful (g) V.G. (m) quiet in methods, pleasant personality equable temperament (n) 2 Recd specially Cdre Domvile
  Very able (G) recd for early promotion. Ad Brock
June 1925 Mediterranean recommended for promotion. 12/25  
June 1925 Of outstanding merit, worthy of early promotion. Ad Brock.
Dec 1925 Mediterranean recommended for promotion. 4/19  
Dec 1925 Specially recommended of exceptl merit, worthy of early promotion. Ad Keyes
30.1.26 TLs appreciation of xeal & ability displayed in assisting to produce Fire Control Table. G02137/26  
June 1926 Mediterranean recommended for promotion. 1/32  

Lieutenant's Confidential Reports
Source: ADM 196/ - Lieutenant's Confidential Reports
Remarks Reporting Officer

1 ADM 196/51 Page 96 - Service History National Archives
2 Captain's Confidential Report National Archives
3 Commander's Confidential Report National Archives
4 Times, 13 February 1981 Worcestershire County Council Library Service
5 London Gazette (various dates)
6 Fraser of North Cape, Richard Humble, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983