ARMY OF INDIA 1799, CLASP AVA ‘COLL H. FRASER, COMMG DIVISION’
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL SIR HUGH FRASER OF BRAELANGWELL
Hugh Fraser son of William Fraser, Commissary of Inverness was born on 14 May 1773 and entered the Madras Service as an Ensign on 29 July 1791. Promoted Lieutenant on 17 February 1794, he served at the capture of Colombo, a fortress in the Island of Ceylon, in 1796 (included in prize roll). Advancing to Captain on 11 February 1801, Major 16 March 1805 and Lieutenant-Colonel on14 December 1809. In 1811 he was appointed to command at Pondicherry, receiving approbation of his conduct when he resigned command in 1816. In 1817 he was appointed to take charge of the garrison at Vellore. However with the outbreak of the Third Maratha War in 1817, Fraser, who was at this time served with the 12th Madras N.I., was appointed to command the second Brigade of Infantry with Field Force under General Pritzler. Taking part in the various operations of Pritzler’s Division, he shared the Prizes for the capture of Singkeir, Shotapore, Pogrunder and Wassotta in 1818. In March/April 1819 he took part in the siege and taking of the Fortress of Asseerghur and on 12 May commanded the troops at the successful assault of the formidable hill fortress of Copaul Droog, leading the attack in person. In 1832, Colonel Fraser was awarded the K.C.B. for his actions at Copaul Droog; the long wait for this reward presumably due to the the 1819 assaults Asseerghur and Copaul Droog, were two of eight additional actions (1818-42) put forward as additional clasps for the Army of India Medal.
Having been promoted full Colonel on 12 August 1819, Fraser transferred to the Command of the 22nd N.I. and in January 1824, Fraser was again given command at vellore. This appointment again was short lived for his Regiment was selected to serve in the First Anglo-Burmese War. In August 1824 Colonel Fraser was appointed to succeed Colonel Macbean in the Command of the Madras Division of the Army; serving with the local rank of Brigadier-General. On 21 September 1824, General Fraser, led a successful combined Army and Naval expedition against enemy stockades near Paulang………….
Details of General Sir Hugh Fraser’s Military service is far from complete, especially his service pre 1817. Much has been taken from the following excellent webpage detailing the life of Sir Hugh:
Other info has been taken from various books, despatches, Army lists, snippets of info online etc etc. However a visit to the India Office may well prove fruitful.
Condition VF, couple of minor EK’s, some contact marks and a little polished, attractive dark patina. A fine and rare Army of India medal awarded to a very high ranked Officer commanding what was the largest Division of troops of the Burma Expeditionary Force. The naming on the medal ‘Commg Division’ looks to be unique. However this is eclipsed by the fact that Sir High was Knighted for his services at the taking of Copal Droog in 1819.
Sold with various PDF books on the Burma War, histories of the Madras Army, LG and despatches, obituaries and other research on CD.