Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Milner Fraser
Born: 5 January 1905
Died: 30 November 1978
Bio Notes: James Milner Fraser was born on 5 January 1905, the son of James Milner Fraser, ironmonger, and his wife, Elizabeth Ann Davidson. He was articled to James Cobban of Aberdeen in June 1920. When Cobban ceased practice in September 1923, Fraser transferred to the office of George Watt, where he completed his apprenticeship in June 1925. Throughout this period he studied at Aberdeen School of Architecture, Alexander Gordon being among his tutors. He then moved to London where he joined the LCC Housing Department as an architectural assistant and studied at the Regent Street Polytechnic and at the Northern Polytechnic, Holloway Road. In 1926 he made a study tour of Rome, Florence and Paris, and in the same year took a position as assistant architect in West Ham Borough Council. The following year he emigrated to Singapore where he joined the Singapore Improvement Trust, working in the Municipal Offices under his former tutor and fellow émigré Alexander Gordon. He passed the final exam in Singapore in August 1928 and was admitted ARIBA in late 1929, proposed by Gordon, Percy Hubert Keys and another. By the mid-1940s he had been promoted to the position of Manager to the Trust, and in the ensuing years supervised major developments including more than 10,000 houses, shops and flats, as well as writing a number of papers and reports on town planning and housing issues. He was admitted FRIBA in 1955, proposed by W Irving Watson, C Y Koh and Kenneth S Brundle by which time he had been awarded a CBE.

He subsequently returned to Scotland, probably to retire, and he died at Cults, Aberdeenshire on 30 November 1978, survived by his wife Alice Ross and his son also James Milner Fraser.

SIT Annual reports 1947-53
Reprt on Town Planning and Housing in Singapore, 1952
Paper on Housing Survey for the United Nations, 1954
Report on tour of the USA and Caribbean area, December 1951

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Royden/53, Deeview Road South, Cults, Aberdeenshire, ScotlandPrivate 1978 
Item 2 of 326, Barker Road, Singapore, SingaporePrivate1930 *  
Item 3 of 314, Kay Siang Road, Singapore, SingaporePrivate1955 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 6James CobbanJune 1920September 1923Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6George WattSeptember 1923June 1925Apprentice 
Item 3 of 6London County Council Architects' Department (LCC Architects' Department)19251926Assistantin Housing Department
Item 4 of 6West Ham Borough Council Architect's Department19261927Assistant 
Item 5 of 6Singapore Improvement Trust1927c. 1946AssistantTown Planning Assistant
Item 6 of 6Singapore Improvement Trustc. 1946After 1955Manager 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 5Kenneth Alfred Brundle1 November 1955For Fellowship
Item 2 of 5Alexander GordonLate 1929for Associateship
Item 3 of 5Percy Hubert KeysLate 1929for Associateship
Item 4 of 5C Y Koh1 November 1955For Fellowship
Item 5 of 5William Irving Watson1 November 1955For Fellowship


Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no4385 (combined box 11); F no5001 (combined box 49)