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Ian Fraser was born into a well-known Scottish family, of which practically every man for more than seven hundred years had been a warrior. But, because his father was disinherited for choosing the 'cowardly' profession of clergyman, the author was brought up and educated in southern England. During the 2nd World War he was an officer in the Royal Navy (actually a 'torpedo pilot' in the Fleet Air Arm) and in 1943 both decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross and captured. After two + years as a German P.O. W., he became an administrator in the British Colonial Service, working primarily in Malaysia and Singapore. There, he met and worked amongst simple people comparable to our ancestors of a thousand years ago. He was deeply impressed by how vastly different human beings are in different times and places and by the utter fallacy of the assumption that all men are, and always have been, the same. He was honoured as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1960 and later served in Aden and the Bahamas.