Firefighter remembered 113 years on after dying in line of duty

A plaque has been installed at Adelphi Court, Aberdeen, where William Fraser died battling a warehouse blaze in 1909.

Firefighter William Fraser remembered 113 years on after dying in line of duty STV News
William Fraser was honoured 113 years after his death.

A service has been held in remembrance of a firefighter who died while battling a warehouse blaze in 1909.

A plaque was unveiled by the Fire Brigades Union at Adelphi Court in Aberdeen on Sunday, 113 years after the death of William Fraser at the same spot.

The 28-year-old was battling to put out a large warehouse fire, when he was knocked off a ladder by debris and fell 40ft to the ground.

Mr Fraser, who was a father to a new-born baby, died 10 minutes after the fall and is believed to be the last serving firefighter to be killed in the city while in the line of duty.

The red plaque reads: “Honouring the bravery and sacrifice of William Fraser of Aberdeen Central Fire Station who gave his life in the line of duty at Adelphi Court, Aberdeen March 2, 1909.”

It is the first Red Plaque to be unveiled in the area.
It is the first Red Plaque to be unveiled in the area.

The family of Mr Fraser also held a small remembrance service, after a great, great granddaughter stumbled across his story when she saw a Facebook post by firefighter Ross Urquhart of Central Community Fire Station.

Mr Urquhart said: “Red Plaques remind us of the extraordinary sacrifices that firefighters make, and we are glad to be able to honour the only firefighter to die in the line of duty in Aberdeen with one.

“As an Aberdeen firefighter today, I wanted to make sure that William was remembered appropriately.

“I felt we owed him that.”

The service was part of the Red Plaque scheme, which aims to remember firefighters who died in the line of duty and is administered by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

Before the unveiling of the plaque, Mr Fraser was honoured by a procession involving fire engines along King Street and Union Street, in Aberdeen.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, said: “William Fraser died over a century ago but the day we should stop remembering his bravery and sacrifice will never come.

“No firefighter who dies in the line of duty should ever be forgotten, and William will not be.

“Everyday members of the public will see this plaque and remember that he gave his life.

“William left a new-born baby behind, and we are extremely glad that descendants of him were with us today as we unveil this plaque.”