Warren Neil Cranston Fraser FRCS(Eng) FRACS
Orthopaedic Surgeon
12 December 1928 – 10 July 2019

Warren Fraser passed away in his 91st year after a short illness.

Warren grew up in Auckland, the elder child of Robert Fraser, an engineer, and Clara Thomas. He had a younger sister, Jean.   After attending Kohimaramara Primary school, Warren moved on to Auckland Grammar School where he became Class Captain and was regarded as an accomplished pianist.  During this time, he was introduced to skiing and this became a life-long passion. Very capable academically, he topped his class and gained a university scholarship.  As Robert had continued in the large and successful engineering company established by his father, Warren was strongly encouraged to continue in the family business.  However, from a relatively early age he had determined he wished to follow a medical pathway.

After completing two years at Auckland University, Warren gained entry to Otago Medical School and moved to Dunedin.  During his fifth year, while completing his obstetrics attachment at Queen Mary Hospital, Warren met Valarie Batts, a budding Karitane nurse, and a friendship was soon established.  Completing his MB ChB in 1954, he worked as a house surgeon in Auckland and Hawera and then spent two years as a surgical registrar at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.  Warren and Valarie married in 1956.   Advised there would be a consultant position in orthopaedic surgery on his return, Warren was strongly encouraged to travel to the UK to obtain his fellowship and training.  Consequently, in 1958 with Valarie and six week old Louise, he sailed to England serving as ship’s doctor.  He obtained work at the Marsden Hospital in Chelsea, Barnet General Hospital and then the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Great Ormond Street in London.  Completing the Primary Examination in Edinburgh he gained his FRCSEng in 1962.   After four and a half years in the UK, Warren was offered a position as a fulltime consultant at Middlemore Hospital and the family, now with two additional children Timothy and Kathryn, returned to New Zealand.  The family was subsequently completed with the birth of Amanda.

Warren’s work at Middlemore Hospital initially comprised general orthopedics and trauma, evolving over the years to an increased interest in hip & knee replacement.  In addition to his work at Middlemore he was also consultant surgeon at Thames Hospital, the Wilson Home and the Mangere Psychopaedic Hospital dealing with Cerebral Palsy. This particular contribution was recognised in the form of a special award from the Crippled Children’s Society.  After five years full-time commitment to Middlemore Hospital he began part time private practice operating at private hospitals Brightside, Rawhiti (where he was on the Trust Board), The Adventist and for 35 years at Mater (now Mercy) Hospital.  He obtained his FRACS in 1970.  Warren was a skilled surgeon who loved operating – he said he never had a day when he did not enjoy going to work. Busy in private practice, he also thoroughly enjoyed his work at Middlemore Hospital.

Warren had a very full life outside of the profession. keen sailor he built a number of small boats, winning the small yacht section at the Auckland Boat Show several times. He maintained his love of the mountains and skiing, participating into his 80’s and passing his passion to all of his family, who followed with enthusiasm.  In retirement he took up golf and travelled extensively.  Warren was a positive and energetic man who loved life and lived it to the full. He had a very large circle of friends as a result of his considerable spheres of interest. 


Mr Peter Robertson FRACS, Valarie and Tim Fraser assisted in the preparation of this obituary.