Personal Profile Collections

 

Company Sergeant Major Daniel (Danny) Joseph Fraser

Killed in Action January 17, 1944

Short Biography:

Daniel (Danny) Joseph Fraser was born in Sydney Mines, NS, on November 12, 1916. He was the son of Dan M. Fraser from Pleasant Bay, Cape Breton, and Annie (née Jobes) Fraser from Bay St. Lawrence, Cape Breton. Annie passed away in the late 1930's. Including Daniel, there were six children in the family. Daniel moved to New Waterford when he was young. He received his education in New Waterford and became a coal miner at the No. 16 Collier. He married Catherine Jane MacDonald from Inverness, Cape Breton, and they had two children together. The new family resided in New Waterford.

Daniel served in the Cape Breton Highlanders militia before the war and was immediately called up upon mobilization of the unit in September 1939. He officially signed on to the Canadian Active Service Force Cape Breton Highlanders on October 14, 1939, in New Waterford. His rank was private and he was given the service number F54767. Daniel trained in Canada with the battalion, sailed to the U.K. with them in November, 1941, and then on to Italy in October/November, 1943. In October, 1942, after having quickly risen through the non-commissioned ranks, he was promoted to company sergeant major.

Tragically, Daniel was killed in action with the Cape Breton Highlanders in Italy, on January 17, 1944. It was during the unit’s first major battle, an ill-fated assault across the valley of a stream called the Riccio, located near Ortona, on the Adriatic Sector of the Italian Front. The battlefield later became known as "The Valley of Death." He was company sergeant major of "C" Company at the time, and was 27 years old.

Daniel Fraser was laid to rest in Moro River Canadian War Cemetery, near Ortona, Italy.

For additional information on Daniel Fraser, refer to the following online source:

  • The Canadian Virtual War Memorial – A website by Veterans Affairs Canada. The page on Daniel Fraser contains basic information, a photograph and burial information.

 

Notes on the Collection:

I would like to thank Peter Fraser, brother of Daniel Fraser, who I interviewed in 1994 at his home in Sydney. He provided family information and allowed me to copy the portrait photo in Section 1 of the collection. I would also like to thank Bernardine MacNeil-Campbell of Ontario who, in 2014, provided electronic copies of additional photos and a newspaper clipping pertaining to her uncle, Daniel Fraser. To compliment the collection, I also added one photo in Section 1 from a non-family source and one photo in Section 3 from my own collection. 

 

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