Henry ("Harry") Balfour Fraser was born in Holloway, London, on 13th February 1906. He joined the Communist Party in 1926, during the General Strike. Harry worked as a clerk in immediate the period after this. Having previously joined the RAF to gain military experience, he volunteered for the International Brigade and went to Spain to fight for the Republican cause in August 1937.
He was assigned to the British Battalion Machine Gun Company, one of the deadliest postings in the Republican army, given the routine shooting of captured machine gun personnel by Fascist forces. He took part in fighting at Teruel and Aragon front.
Harry Fraser was repatriated back to England in December 1938 and later became a long-standing member of the Electricians Trade Union (ETU).