Despite the passage of time - 113 years - he wasn't forgotten

A plaque to remember a fallen firefighter has been unveiled 113 years after he died in the line of duty, after a social media plea to find relatives was successful.

By John A. MacInnes
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 8:32 am
PIC DEREK IRONSIDE / NEWSLINE MEDIA
PIC DEREK IRONSIDE / NEWSLINE MEDIA

William Fraser was aged 28 and a father to a new-born baby when he lost his life fighting a large warehouse fire in Aberdeen, on March 2 1909. He was knocked off a ladder at the site by debris, falling 40 feet to the ground. He died 10 minutes after falling.

His great, great granddaughter came forward after recognising her relative’s story on a Facebook post by firefighter Ross Urquhart of Central Community Fire Station, who has helped organise the plaque, and Mr Fraser’s family were then involved with the unveiling of the plaque.

He is believed to be the last serving firefighter to be killed in the line of duty in Aberdeen.

PIC DEREK IRONSIDE / NEWSLINE MEDIA

The plaque is situated at Adelphi Court, where the fire took place, and was unveiled today.

The plaque unveiling was prefaced by a small service involving Mr Fraser’s family at Trinity Cemetery, followed by a procession involving fire engines including a 1915 model North East Scottish Fire Heritage Club engine, which travelled along Aberdeen main streets King Street and Union Street. It was led by a piper for its final 50 meters.

That procession route was close to the original, which according to the Aberdeen Journal was attended by thousands of people, bringing Aberdeen to a standstill, and featured a fire engine drawn by four black horses.

PIC DEREK IRONSIDE / NEWSLINE MEDIA
Adelphi Court where Firefighter Fraser died.