Hugh Fraser (politician)
Major Sir Hugh Charles Patrick Joseph Fraser MBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (23 January 1918 – 6 March 1984) was a British Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 and first husband of the author Lady Antonia Fraser.

Youth and military career

Fraser was a younger son of the 14th Lord Lovat
Simon Fraser, 14th Lord Lovat
Brigadier-General Simon Joseph Fraser, 14th Lord Lovat and 3rd Baron Lovat KT, GCVO, KCMG, CB, DSO , was a leading Roman Catholic aristocrat, landowner, soldier, politician and the 23rd Chief of Clan Fraser. He was the son of Simon Fraser, 13th Lord Lovat, and Alice Mary Weld-Blundell...

 and a prominent Roman Catholic.

He was educated at Ampleforth College
Ampleforth College
Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, England, is the largest Roman Catholic co-educational boarding independent school in the United Kingdom. It opened in 1802, as a boys' school, and is run by the Benedictine monks and lay staff of Ampleforth Abbey...

 and Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, where he was President of the Oxford Union
Oxford Union
The Oxford Union Society, commonly referred to simply as the Oxford Union, is a debating society in the city of Oxford, Britain, whose membership is drawn primarily but not exclusively from the University of Oxford...

, and at the Sorbonne
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

. He was commissioned into the Lovat Scouts
Lovat Scouts
The Lovat Scouts were a British Army unit. The unit was first formed during the Second Boer War as a Scottish Highland yeomanry regiment of the British Army and is the first known military unit to wear a ghillie suit...

 in 1936. Fraser served in GHQ Liaison Regiment. Lieut. Fraser was promoted to temporary Captain wef 14 April 1942 and became second in command of ‘C’ Squadron. On 11 September 1943, ‘E’ Squadron commanded by Maj. Fraser embarked on HMS Aurora for Taranto, Italy, but it was allowed just four Jeeps fitted with Radio. In June 1944, he was serving with 'F' Squadron. On 22 October 1944, he was serving in ‘F’ Squadron. In November 1944, he was posted to IS9 as an Intelligence Officer.

Fraser was appointed MBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

: In February, March and April of this year, he was responsible for planning and organising infiltration and evacuation operations in Southern Holland. Throughout, his work with IS 9 (WEA) has been outstanding, and his powers of leadership and sympathetic handling of agents have largely contributed to the success the operational teams have had during the past months.

Fraser was awarded the 1940 Belgian Croix de Guerre with palm: Capt Fraser was dropped by parachute near Somleuz in the Ardennes on 1 Sept 1944 to act as Liaison Officer between HQ SAS Troops and the Commander of Zone the Belgian Arme Secrete in whose zone SAS parties if the Belgian SAS Regt were then operating. The Armee Secrete in the Ardennes was very short of arms and it was largely as a result of Capt Fraser’s efforts that some 2000 arms were dropped to them in the next three weeks. He also organised the supply of local guides and of intelligence to the advancing US forces. From October 1944 until March 1945 Capt Fraser was in charge of an I.S. 9 Field Section in the Canadian Army sector in Holland where he did valuable work in arranging the exfiltration of allied evaders collected by Lt Kirschen (Belgian SAS Regt operation Fabian) in the Velune district.

Capt. Fraser was entitled to the ‘1939-45’ Star, the Africa Star with First Army clasp, Italy Star, the France and Germany Star and ‘1939-45’ War Medal.

Political career

Fraser was elected Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Stone
Stone (UK Parliament constituency)
Stone is a county constituency in Staffordshire which is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election.- Boundaries :...

 in 1945, later Stafford and Stone
Stafford and Stone (UK Parliament constituency)
Stafford and Stone was county constituency in Staffordshire which returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.It was created in 1950 and abolished in 1983.-Members of Parliament:...

 following constituency boundary changes, from 1950 until 1983, and then Stafford
Stafford (UK Parliament constituency)
Stafford is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. The sitting MP is the Conservative Jeremy Lefroy....

 again until his death. He served as an MP continuously from 1945 until 1984 but did not become Father of the House
Father of the House
Father of the House is a term that has by tradition been unofficially bestowed on certain members of some national legislatures, most notably the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. In some legislatures the term refers to the oldest member, but in others it refers the longest-serving member.The...

 as he was sworn in as an MP on 15 August 1945 while James Callaghan
James Callaghan
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC , was a British Labour politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980...

 had been sworn in on 2 August 1945 and so he, rather than Fraser, became Father following the 1983 election. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary
Parliamentary Private Secretary
A Parliamentary Private Secretary is a role given to a United Kingdom Member of Parliament by a senior minister in government or shadow minister to act as their contact for the House of Commons; this role is junior to that of Parliamentary Under-Secretary, which is a ministerial post, salaried by...

 to Oliver Lyttelton (1951–54), a junior minister in the War Office (1958–60) and Colonial Office (1960–62), and Secretary of State for Air
Secretary of State for Air
The Secretary of State for Air was a cabinet level British position. The person holding this position was in charge of the Air Ministry. It was created on 10 January 1919 to manage the Royal Air Force...

 (1962–64). He was an unsuccessful candidate in the Conservative Party's 1975 leadership election
Conservative Party (UK) leadership election, 1975
Edward Heath, leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom had called and unexpectedly lost the February 1974 general election...

, gaining 16 votes in the first round challenging incumbent Edward Heath
Edward Heath
Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as Leader of the Conservative Party ....

, with the leadership eventually being won by Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...


Private life

Fraser married the future author Lady Antonia Pakenham
Antonia Fraser
Lady Antonia Margaret Caroline Fraser, DBE , née Pakenham, is an Anglo-Irish author of history, novels, biographies and detective fiction, best known as Antonia Fraser...

, daughter of the Earl
Frank Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford
Francis Aungier Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford KG, PC , known as the Lord Pakenham from 1945 to 1961, was a British politician, author, and social reformer...

 and Countess of Longford, on 25 September 1956. They had six children, Benjamin Fraser, Damian Fraser, Orlando Fraser, Rebecca Fraser, Flora Fraser
Flora Fraser (writer)
Flora Fraser Soros is an English writer of historical biographies.-Family:She is the daughter of historian and historical biographer Lady Antonia Fraser and the late Sir Hugh Fraser, a British Conservative politician. Her stepfather was the playwright Harold Pinter, the 2005 Nobel Laureate in...

 and Natasha Fraser. In 1975, while she was still married to Fraser, Lady Antonia Fraser met and started living with playwright Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter, CH, CBE was a Nobel Prize–winning English playwright and screenwriter. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party , The Homecoming , and Betrayal , each of which he adapted to...

, who was also married at the time. The Frasers divorced in 1977; Lady Antonia married Pinter in 1980 when his divorce became final.

Sir Hugh was the intended target of an IRA
Provisional Irish Republican Army
The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

 car bomb
Car bomb
A car bomb, or truck bomb also known as a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device , is an improvised explosive device placed in a car or other vehicle and then detonated. It is commonly used as a weapon of assassination, terrorism, or guerrilla warfare, to kill the occupants of the vehicle,...

 on 23 October 1975. The bomb had been fitted to one of the Fraser's cars outside their house at Campden Hill Square, London, W8. A noted cancer researcher, Professor Gordon Hamilton-Fairley
Gordon Hamilton-Fairley
Gordon Hamilton Fairley DM, FRCP was a professor of medical oncology. Born and raised in Australia, he moved to the United Kingdom where he studied and worked. He was killed by an IRA bomb intended to kill Sir Hugh Fraser....

, was walking past the car when the bomb exploded prematurely, killing Hamilton-Fairley immediately.


Sir Hugh Fraser remained in parliament until his death from lung cancer
Lung cancer
Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue and, eventually, into other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in lung, known as primary...

 in March 1984, aged 66. Bill Cash retained the seat for the Tories at the by-election two months later.

External links

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