Douglas Martin Fraser
Service number 50273

The return of Douglas Fraser and his wife, Marion, to Mundoolun was news in the Beaudesert Times in 1919.

Less than a year after Douglas had left Sydney for Egypt, the Beaudesert Times of May 16, 1919, reported the Frasers’ return to the district in a brief item headed Returned soldier.

“Mr and Mrs Douglas Fraser returned to Mundoolun yesterday. Corporal Fraser was a member of the AIF and served in Egypt before returning with Mrs Fraser to Queensland,” it read.

According to his service record, Douglas Fraser and his wife had two small children, Douglas Collins Fraser, born in September 1915 and Margaret, born in May 1917, when he enlisted in March, 1918.

A pastoralist, 29 years old, Douglas left Sydney on the Wiltshire with reinforcements from Queensland for the Middle East on June 6 and arrived in Suez on July 17.

After two months at the Central Training Depot at Moascar, he joined the ANZAC Training Regiment before being allotted to the 5th Light Horse Regiment on September 14.

It was October 4 before Trooper Fraser finally joined the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, just as the Sinai and Palestine Campaign was drawing to a close.

The Armistice of Mudros, marking the end to hostilities between the British and the Turks of the Ottoman Empire, was signed three weeks later, on October 26.

Although the war in Europe officially ended with the Armistice in November, there was still more to be done by the 5th Light Horse Regiment, which was deployed to quell the Egyptian Uprising in early March 1919.

Soldiers of the 5th Light Horse embarking for war.

(Image: State Library of Queensland; Public Domain.)

“Argued for early discharge for business and family reasons.”

“My wife is in Cairo and if possible I would like to return immediately with her to Australia and our children.”

For the next two months its men were busy with patrols to put a stop to the murder of soldiers and civilians and the destruction of bridges, railways and telephone and telegraph lines in Egypt.

However, Douglas had left Cairo in March, after writing a series of letters, beginning December 1, arguing for his discharge from the AIF for business and family reasons.

A partner in John Collins and Sons and Collins White and Company, which had pastoral interests in Queensland and the Northern Territory, Douglas argued for his early discharge on the basis that there were “questions of importance” which had arisen “concerning the management and ownership” of these interests. These matters had been postponed, but with the end of the war, required “speedy settlement”.

“It follows from the above that I am possessed of ample private means and under no circumstances will require monetary assistance from the Commonwealth Govt to enable me to return to Australia,” he wrote.

“My wife is in Cairo and if possible I would like to return immediately with her to Australia and our children, otherwise she will either have to return to Australia without me or remain for an indefinite period in Egypt.”

Douglas Fraser’s service record shows that he was discharged on March 21at his own request and was that day struck off the strength of the AIF.

A 20 Piaster Egyptian Expeditionary Force stamp, issued in 1918 by the British military administration.

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