A STRETCH of promenade running the length of a new development in New Brighton is to be named after a local hero.
Legendary Wirral war hero and Victoria Cross winner Ian Fraser, who died two years ago, won Britain’s highest award for gallantry for a death-defying under-water raid on a Japanese ship during World War II.
He was awarded the Freedom of the Borough by Wirral Council in 1992 and is now to have a stretch of the promenade – where he and his family spent many happy summers – named in his honour.
Last week his widow Melba said he “would have thought it was marvellous”.
She said: “The whole family are absolutely over the moon.”
A report to Wirral Council’s ruling cabinet, which meets this week, has recommended councillors approve “the proposal to name the section of promenade as ‘Ian Fraser Walk’.”
The report by Dave Green, director of technical services, said: “Members will be aware of the exceptional heroism and bravery of Lt Commander Ian Edwards Fraser VC, DSC, RD and Bar, JP, RNR (Rtd) during World War II and, in particular the award of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery, for an attack he made on the Japanese Warship, Takao, in a midget submarine in 1945.
“Ian Fraser was also an extremely successful businessman and made an enormous contribution to public life here in the borough.”
Mr Green added: “This proposal is unusual in that, in conjunction with the current regeneration scheme for New Brighton, a section of the Kings Parade promenade from Coastal Drive to the marine lake, has been reconstructed as part of the public realm improvements. “It has been suggested that we take the opportunity to rename this new promenade the ‘Ian Fraser Walk’ in memory of this great Wirralian. The promenade, and in fact the whole of King’s Parade, holds special memories for the Fraser family who frequented this location regularly.”
The King’s citation for Mr Fraser’s Victoria Cross read: “The courage and determination of Lieutenant Commander Fraser are beyond all praise.
“Any man not possessed of his relentless determination to achieve his object in full, regardless of all consequences, would have dropped his side charge alongside the target, instead of persisting until he had forced his submarine right under the cruiser.”
Andrew Fraser, one of Mr Fraser’s sons, said it was “very humbling”.
Tim, another son, said the stretch named after their father included the slipway to the beach where they had learned to swim, and added: “This where we spent our childhood summers.”