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JOHN DUDLEY FRAZER

haynes_major_bk_tsss
 
Full Name: John Dudley Frazer
Nationality: British
Organization: British Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: Edgar Wallace
Time Span: 1918 - 2015

ABOUT THE SERIES

       John Dudley Frazer is an agent with British Intelligence.
       The activities of this operative, described early on simply as being a "young man", take place during the years of the Great War but since the recorded adventures indicate a considerable number of hair-raising escapades had already gone into his ledger, it is safe to say these occur in the latter year of 1917.
       Frazer answers directly to the "chief of a certain department". As that director references both Army Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, it behooves us to stick with the general British Intelligence. This being said, however, it is important to note that Frazer makes considerable use of one vessel from the Royal Navy though he is not actually attached to that branch.
       That vessel is mentioned in the name of the collection of Frazer's tales, to wit a submarine with the designation of Z1, described as a "long grim craft". It is captained by Lieutenant Ian Graham and helmed by a Mr. Clark. It is through the use of this underwater craft that Frazer makes a considerable number of trips to the northern region of Germany to begin his missions. Sometimes the aim is somewhere in the North Sea, such as near the headquarters of the German Navy at Wilhelmshaven and sometimes into the Baltic Sea region such as around Kiel.
       Frazer, though mentioned as being 'young', is highly experienced in his cloak and dagger trade. His grasp of the German language with its varied accents and dialects is superb and his comfort in traveling all over the country is complete. "It was known at Headquarters that Frazer maintained establishments as far apart as Breslau is from Bremen, and that in a dozen towns and villages he was known under some name or other, had a little circle of unsuspecting acquaintances, with whom he would sit in the evenings drinking his beer and playing skat. In one town he was known as a traveler. In another he was suspected of being a German police official. In Cleve he was Herr Smidt-a Bavarian who came at odd intervals to drink from the Chalybeate Springs."
       Back to the use of the Z1 as his means of getting to and from Germany, it is interesting to note that for security reasons, the British Navy has no way of knowing that the boat is in fact manned by its own people heading on missions for the Crown. This means that every time it departs from or returns to its home port, it runs the risk of being depth-charged into oblivion. At the same time the Germans have determined that there has to be a British submarine at work in its waters and the Z1 is actively being searched for by the Kaiser's Navy. This results in a great deal of pressure being put upon the shoulders of young red-haired Lt. Graham.
     He is described in one adventure as being "about twenty-six years of age, wears a slight moustache, is about 175 centimeters in height (5'9"), has grey eyes, and a frivolous habit of speech".


Good Lines:
"There never was a Bavarian who did not loathe a Prussian."
"You cannot be a secret agent of the Government unless you are [unscrupulous]."

BOOKS

Number of Books:1
First Appearance:2015
Last Appearance:2015

1 The Secret Service Submarine The Secret Service Submarine
Written by Edgar Wallace
Copyright: 2015

Collection of 11 short stories previously published in the Dundee, Scotland, newspaper Thomson's Weekly News and a week later in the Glasgow Sunday Post as well as other publications. These were collected by archivist Roy Glashan and made available online.
The stories are:
The Rescue of Elsie Brice From Germany
The German Navy Changes Its Code
The Invasion That Failed
An Air Raid On Cologne
A Prisoner In Germany
The Poison Gang
The War Lord
The Man From Dresden
The Conversion of Minna Schumacher
The Last Trip To Germany. The End of the Z1.
The Last Trip To Germany. The Armistice


NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:11
First Appearance:1918
Last Appearance:1918

     According to the foreword in the Roy Glashan's Library (RGL) collection of the tales of John Dudley Frazer and his submarine, Z1:
The eleven-part series "The Secret Service Submarine" also made its first appearance in Thomson's Weekly News and was subsequently published under syndication in other periodicals. The version presented here was transcribed from digital image files of The Glasgow Sunday Post, where it was printed from September 8 to November 17, 1918. Obvious errors (both typographical and linguistic) have been corrected without comment, and several footnotes have been added.
     Each part of the series was prefaced with the following advisory:
"It is necessary, for obvious reasons, to present the story of Mr John Dudley Frazer (familiarly called John Dudley) in the form of fiction. Someday it may be possible to describe in a more official manner the activities of the boat I call Z1. Told in the driest official style, it would never be uninteresting. It is understood that the names of places and people, code systems, etc., given in the course of these sketches are deliberately fictitious."

1 The Rescue of Elsie Brice From Germany The Rescue of Elsie Brice From Germany
Written by Edgar Wallace
Copyright: 1918

Adventure #1 in the collection The Secret Service Submarine. First published in Thomson's Weekly News 09/03/1918 and syndicated to the Glasgow Sunday Post, 09/08/1918.
American spy Elsie Brice was arrested for espionage in Germany and sentenced to die by firing squad one week later. Since her department had no way to rescue her in such short time, it asked the British Secret Service to assist and they sent John Dudley Frazer aboard the submarine Z1 to free her from a prison in Kiel.

2 The German Navy Changes Its Code The German Navy Changes Its Code
Written by Edgar Wallace
Copyright: 1918

Adventure #2 in the collection The Secret Service Submarine. First published in Thomson's Weekly News 09/10/1918 and syndicated to the Glasgow Sunday Post, 09/15/1918.
On one of his clandestine trips into Germany, John Frazer got an inkling there might have been a change in Germany's main military code. Returning to England, he confirms it so it is now up to him to go back to Germany and find a way to get a look at the new cipher.

3 The Invasion That Failed The Invasion That Failed
Written by Edgar Wallace
Copyright: 1918

Adventure #3 in the collection The Secret Service Submarine. First published in Thomson's Weekly News 09/17/1918 and syndicated to the Glasgow Sunday Post, 09/22/1918.
With strong hints that an invasion of England by Germany is imminent, it falls to John Frazer to head back to the country to learn how they are planning to stop their attack vessels from being hampered by British submarines.

4 An Air Raid On Cologne An Air Raid On Cologne
Written by Edgar Wallace
Copyright: 1918

Adventure #4 in the collection bk_10269The Secret Service Submarine. First published in Thomson's Weekly News 09/24/1918 and syndicated to the Glasgow Sunday Post, 09/29/1918.
A post card from a British POW in Germany, allowed in their normal mail, contained a message in invisible ink talking about another agent being captured and leaving a secret list on German losses in a hidey-hole. To learn more, John Frazer plans a trip to Cologne.

5 A Prisoner In Germany A Prisoner In Germany
Written by Edgar Wallace
Copyright: 1918

Adventure #5 in the collection The Secret Service Submarine. First published in Thomson's Weekly News 10/01/1918 and syndicated to the Glasgow Sunday Post, 10/06/1918.
His act of kindness in the previous adventure resulted in John Frazer's arrest and now he has to deal with being a British agent imprisoned by the Kaiser's army.

6 The Poison Gang The Poison Gang
Written by Edgar Wallace
Copyright: 1918

Adventure #6 in the collection The Secret Service Submarine. First published in Thomson's Weekly News 10/08/1918 and syndicated to the Glasgow Sunday Post, 10/13/1918.
John Frazer's mission to Germany this time was to 'attend' a classified meeting of several of the top German chemists who were working on horrific weapons to use in war. Frazer had plans for those people.

7 The War Lord The War Lord
Written by Edgar Wallace
Copyright: 1918

Adventure #7 in the collection The Secret Service Submarine. First published in Thomson's Weekly News 10/15/1918 and syndicated to the Glasgow Sunday Post, 10/20/1918.
All of Germany is alerted to the fact that the infamous spy, John Frazer, is out and about in the area of Mainz but has so far eluded capture. He has gone so far as to snatch his nemesis, Fraulein Schumacher, and left her tied up in a park with a painted red nose. This notoriety has attracted to the city the Kaiser himself. Frazer has an unusual use of that leader.

8 The Man From Dresden The Man From Dresden
Written by Edgar Wallace
Copyright: 1918

Adventure #8 in the collection The Secret Service Submarine. First published in Thomson's Weekly News 10/22/1918 and syndicated to the Glasgow Sunday Post, 10/27/1918.
Word has filtered to the British High Command that there were a good number of people on the German General Staff and even more in Austria who wanted an end to the War. John Frazer is sent back to that area to learn what he can.

9 The Conversion of Minna Schumacher The Conversion of Minna Schumacher
Written by Edgar Wallace
Copyright: 1918

Adventure #9 in the collection The Secret Service Submarine. First published in Thomson's Weekly News 10/29/1918 and syndicated to the Glasgow Sunday Post, 11/03/1918.
John Dudley is amazed and quite intrigued to receive a letter sent from The Hague by a courier of his nemesis, Fraulein Minna Schumacher, saying that there was a plot against her in Germany and that most of her allies had deserted her, leaving her needing his help and asking for a meeting in Frankfurt. Was it a trap? He could not resist learning the truth.

10 The Last Trip To Germany. The End of the Z1. The Last Trip To Germany. The End of the Z1.
Written by Edgar Wallace
Copyright: 1918

Adventure #10 in the collection The Secret Service Submarine. First published in Thomson's Weekly News 11/05/1918 and syndicated to the Glasgow Sunday Post, 11/10/1918.
Having rescued his former nemesis, John Frazer learns that a kill order has been issued on her and the best German agent said to be in England may be the one likely to take on the job. Still, she and Frazer are in agreement that the agent is really in England for a much bigger assignment but still willing to go after her. Frazer decides this is a good opportunity to lay a trap form him. Helping in this matter is Major Haynes.

11 The Last Trip To Germany. The Armistice The Last Trip To Germany. The Armistice
Written by Edgar Wallace
Copyright: 1918

Adventure #11 in the collection The Secret Service Submarine. First published in Thomson's Weekly News 11/12/1918 and syndicated to the Glasgow Sunday Post, 11/17/1918.
Trying to catch the great German spy, Feifer, John Frazer and the crew of the Z1 know that the trail will take them to Germany. Once there, however, it becomes obvious that Feifer is now the hunter and Frazer the prey.

MY COMMENTS

       I have no way of knowing the order in which the short stories which make up the adventures of Heine, Major Haynes, and John Dudley Frazer were written except the order in which they were published. Going on that, though, I have come up with an observation.
       It seems that the author started out as a satire on the German intelligence apparatus as shown through the pride and fumblings of Heine, introduced a dangerous adversary for him in Major Haynes, went on to draft a collection of Haynes stories in a far more serious vein, and then continued on to the Frazer stories keeping with the seriousness but having a bit more fun with him.
       Of course, I could be wrong.
       Nevertheless, these are very enjoyable stories written by an excellent storyteller and they come across as adventures one might be told sitting in front of a evening fire, either sitting outdoors roasting marshmallows or indoors sipping brandy. They are good adventures told as really good stories.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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