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Brigadier Simon Joseph Fraser, 14th Lord Lovat and 3rd Baron Lovat, KT, GCVO, KCMG, CB, DSO (25 November 1871 – 18 February 1933), was a leading Roman Catholic aristocrat, landowner, forester, soldier, politician and the 23rd Chief of Clan Fraser. He was the son of Simon Fraser, 13th Lord Lovat, and Alice Mary Weld-Blundell. While legally the 14th Lord Lovat (and 3rd Baron Lovat), he was referred to as the 16th Lord.

Early life

Educated at Ampleforth and Oxford, he was an active member of the Oxford University polo team and left with an MA.

Military career

Lord Lovat was commissioned into the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders and promoted lieutenant in 1890, but transferred as a Lieutenant into the 1st Life Guards in 1894.[1] In 1897 he resigned from the Regular Army and joined a volunteer battalion of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. In late 1899 he raised the Lovat Scouts for service in the Second Boer War in South Africa, and from February 1900 served as their second-in-command with the rank of captain, in charge of the mounted infantry.[2] The corps arrived in South Africa in early 1900, and was attached to the Black Watch. He was mentioned in despatches (including the final despatch by Lord Kitchener dated 23 June 1902[3]), was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1900, and appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1902.[4] The war ended in June 1902, and Lord Lovat returned to the United Kingdom with the corps on the SS Tintagel Castle two months later, arriving to a public welcome in Inverness in late August.[5] He was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in 1903 by King Edward VII.[6]

For the Lovat Scouts, he chose the best marksmen he could find and the perfect commander in the American, Frederick Russell Burnham, who served as Chief of Scouts to Lord Roberts, the British Army Commander-in-Chief.[7] After the end of the Second Boer War, the remaining two companies (which had been attached to the Imperial Yeomanry for the latter part of the war) returned to the United Kingdom and were disbanded. The unit was reformed the following year, consisting of two regiments, titled the 1st and 2nd Lovat Scouts. From these scouts a sharpshooter unit was formed and formally become the British Army's first sniper unit.

In World War I, he commanded the Highland Mounted Brigade of the 2nd Mounted Division, being promoted Brigadier-General in September 1914. He was appointed a Knight of the Thistle in 1915 for demonstrable leadership and courage.

In March 1916 he took command of the 4th Mounted Division and became a Major General two months later.[8] He became a Rhodes Trustee in 1917, the same year as Rudyard Kipling.

Awarded KCMG in 1919, he was appointed Army Director of Forestry.

Political career

Apart from a military career Lovat was also Chairman of the Forestry Commission from 1919 to 1927 and served in the Conservative administration of Stanley Baldwin as Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs from 1927 to 1929.[9]

Lovat died in February 1933, aged 61, and was succeeded by his eldest son Simon as the 15th Lord Lovat (known as the 17th Lord), who distinguished himself during the D-Day landings at Normandy in June 1944. His younger son Sir Hugh Fraser was a successful politician and first husband of author Antonia Fraser.


Lovat married Hon. Laura Lister, daughter of Thomas Lister, 4th Baron Ribblesdale, in 1910; they had five children:

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