Admiral of the Fleet Bruce Austin Fraser
National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth, England
Admiral of the Fleet Bruce Austin Fraser, 1st Baron Fraser of North Cape, began his illustrious Royal Navy career as a cadet on the training ship HMS Britannia. He served in World War I and quickly started his rise through the Royal Navy’s ranks. By the outbreak of World War II, he’d been appointed Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy. And he continued to have honours and titles piled upon him until, at the age of 60 in 1948, he became First Sea Lord, the head of the United Kingdom’s Navy. But strangely, when things happened to Bruce Austin Fraser, they often seemed to happen in a February. He was born in February 1888. He started his post as a young midshipman on the HMS Prince George in February 1905. He was awarded the Russian Order of Suvorov for exceptional leadership in combat in February 1944, the same February he was promoted to full admiral. Four years on, he was promoted again, this time to Admiral of the Fleet. And, you’ve guessed it…the promotion came in the February of 1948. Finally, in 1981, when he was 93 years old, he died. And yes, that was in February 1981.