Cecil (frog) DE FRAGA



Service Number: 2122
Enlisted: 19 September 1914, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: Australian Army Service Corps AIF
Born: Creswick, Victoria, 12 October 1887
Home Town: Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria
Schooling: St Augustine's, Creswick & St Patrick's College, Ballarat
Occupation: Motor mechanic
Died: Accidental (motorcycle - head injuries), Caëstre, France, 23 October 1917, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Godewaersvelde British Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

19 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2122, Melbourne, Victoria
15 Oct 1914: Promoted AIF WW1, Warrant Officer
22 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Warrant Officer, SN 2122, 300th Company Mechanical Transport, HMAT Ceramic, Melbourne
22 Dec 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Warrant Officer, SN 2122, 300th Company Mechanical Transport, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
23 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, Australian Army Service Corps AIF, Third Ypres

Frog DeFraga

Known to his friends as "frog" Cecil worked at the Tarrant Motor works on Russel Street in Melbourne. With the "three Harrys", Harry Busteed, Harry Kauper and Harry Hawker they built and raced motorbikes at the Saucer track on St Kilda road.

With an increasing group of young mechanics, they improved their skills as motorbike riders and increased the power of their bikes.

Competition came from the young Andrew Lang and Horri Miller, with higher speeds and greater power. The group were eventually banned from the Saucer track when the boards stated to lift.

Sourced from the National Library of Australia (Trove)

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"Captain Cecil de Fraga, who went away with Major Charlie Goddard, D.S.O., in charge of one of the travelling workshops, has been killed accidentally in France. A cable to this effect was received last Monday." - from the Melbourne Graphic of Australia 23 Nov 1917 (nla.gov.au)

"Details are now forthcoming as to how poor Cecil de Fraga died, and the following letter to Charlie Kellow from Major C. J. Goddard will be read with interest:— 

"No doubt before this note reaches you the news of Captain Cecil de Fraga's death will have been notified by cable. I take the duty of writing you to give particulars of how the sad event occurred. He was riding a Triumph machine, which he had cut down and made up to his own requirements, and, needless to say, it was extra fast and sporty, all in keeping with his own ideas. He had been visiting a column in the rear area, and, returning to his own park, rounding a corner on the pave his rear tyre blew out, and threw him up against a tree, head on, fracturing his skull. He was taken to a casualty clearing station, operated on, but died eight hours later. He was buried the same morning, and I received the sad news at 9 a.m., too late for me to get to the burial. This will be a sad blow to many as well as yourself, but to me it's the worst I've had. Cis was indisperisable, and on this field was easily first. As O.C. of workshops, he should have received distinction over and over again, as he got more than one column out of trouble, and was ever ready to assist everybody. His ability you know as well as I do, but to see his work here was an eye-opener. At all times he was cheery and merry, and sometimes conditions were nearly critical, but he rose to every occasion. His equal to work has yet to be found, and his loss is serious these times. I was looking forward to his return to me, and he was thanking himself also at the prospect of us being together again, as we had many good and bad times together for over three years. I know many homes will mourn his death, but to us out here it is a sad day. Knowing how he thought of you, I drop these lines, as he always handed your letters to me to read, as I gave him yours to me, few and far between, but always a bright spot to us far from home. I've lost a lot of fine pals in this wretched business, which makes one more determined than ever to carry on and see it through. Kindest regards to all old friends and your staff." - from the Melbourne Graphic of Australia 01 Feb 1918 (nla.gov.au)