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Relative of fallen Aberdeen firefighter found – as Red Plaque planned for Adelphi Court

A Red Plaque is planned for Adelphi Court in Aberdeen, where firefighter William Fraser lost his life in 1909.
A Red Plaque is planned for Adelphi Court in Aberdeen, where firefighter William Fraser lost his life in 1909.

A plea to find any living relatives of a fallen firefighter in Aberdeen has been successful.

The great, great granddaughter of fallen firefighter William Fraser has come forward after recognising her relative’s story on a Facebook post.

Central Fire Station officers made a plea to find Mr Fraser’s family ahead of a plan to erect a Red Plaque in his memory in the city centre.

Mr Fraser sadly died, aged only 28, on March 2 1909 while battling a warehouse fire at Adelphi Court in the city.

Firefighter Fraser lost his life in the line of duty

Mr Fraser is believed to be the only firefighter in the city to have lost his life in the line of duty.

It is now hoped to put a Red Plaque at Adelphi Court to mark the sacrifice that Mr Fraser made.

Firefighter Ross Urquhart, of Central Community Fire Station, said he was “amazed” by the response to his Facebook post. He has already made contact with the firefighter’s great, great granddaughter.

He said: “We had been trying to reach the living relatives of William Fraser and had engaged with the Aberdeen and NE Scottish Family History Society.

***EVERYONE PLEASE SHARE***FALLEN FIREFIGHTER On the 2nd of March 1909 a firefighter named William Fraser sadly lost…

Posted by SFRS Aberdeen City on Saturday, 5 February 2022

“We decided to put a post up on Facebook to find out if we could find the family.

“Through the archives of The Press and Journal, we found out that his funeral cortege went from King Street to Trinity Cemetery and people lined the streets. He was taken to the cemetery in a horse drawn carriage.”

One relative has now come forward

Mr Urquhart explained that his detective work took him so far, but he had not managed to find anyone related to Mr Fraser who was still alive.

He continued: “So we posted it on our SFRS Aberdeen City Facebook page, and the great, great granddaughter of William has come forward.

“She knew the story of her great, great grandfather, and when she saw the photos on Facebook she knew the story. She knew that we were looking for her.”

An artists impression of the fire appeared in the Aberdeen Journal in 1909.

He continued: “She has phoned the station and we have made initial arrangements to meet. She still lives in the city. She also has press clippings of William’s death, and she is going to share them with me when we meet, hopefully next week.”

What is a Red Plaque?

Mr Urquhart said that a Red Plaque would be a fitting tribute to Mr Fraser.

He said: “In the fire service, up and down the UK, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have what is called the red plaque scheme.

“The scheme remembers fallen firefighters and honours their sacrifice.

“These plate sized plaques are located close to the locations where firefighters have died protecting their communities it is our hope that a plaque can be installed at the entrance to Adelphi court.”

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