THE headteacher of the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe has paid tribute to a former pupil awarded the Victoria Cross in the Second World War.

Roy Page said “there is a huge amount of respect” among students for Ian Fraser, who passed away on Monday aged 87.

Mr Fraser commanded a HM midget submarine XE-3 through mine-filled waters to destroy the massive Japanese cruiser in the Straights of Jahore, Singapore in July 1945.

The 9,850tonne ship was moored, meaning Fraser could only find adequate water underneath the destroyer’s centre, at midship, to fix the explosives.

Acting leading seaman James Joseph Magennis had to once again leave the ship after one charge stuck, leading to a nerve-wracking seven minutes before the submarine could leave.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross, one of two former pupils to receive the honour.

His citation said: “The courage and determination of Lieutenant 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.”

In 1999 the school named the new Fraser Youens Boarding House after him and First World War VC hero Frederick Youens.

Mr Page said: “He is an important part of our school history. We recognised him and what he achieved by the naming of the boarding house.”

Today was the first day of the new term and “the boys were, as you would expect, very bubbly and talkative”.

Mr Page said: “When I told them about Ian Fraser the room went quiet. You could have heard a pin drop. There is a huge amount of respect for him at the school.”

Born in Ealing, London Ian Fraser first came to RGS in September 1933 aged 12 to join the school training ship HMS Conway in December 1935.

He worked on merchant ships from 1937 to 1939 when he joined the Royal Navy.

In 1943 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery and skill in successful submarine patrols and in 1944, aged 24, was promoted to lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve.

For a full obituary see Friday’s Bucks Free Press.