The King’s Messenger passport of Cyril Fraser

King's Messenger passport
Lieutenant Colonel Cyril Loyd Butler Fraser – The King’s Foreign Service Messenger

The following document came into my collection through a reader’s contact. Paul Murray sent me a message last year and wanted to know more details about this type of passport. King’s Messenger passport

This King’s Messenger passport once belonged to his great uncle, Lieutenant Colonel Cyril Loyd Butler Fraser.

Paul sent me some pictures of the document, which was quite worn for such an exclusive travel document. Back then, he wasn’t interested in departing from it, but I was delighted when he contacted me again this year. We found a suitable agreement for both parties, and now the document is on my desk.

King's Messenger passport
“l know for a fact that he was a very flamboyant character and was a frequent visitor to the Ritz Hotel. He lived most of his life in Brighton and Hove when not on duty. The photo shows him with his brother Colonel  P B Fraser D.S.O, O.B.E., who was for a time head of land forces in Gibraltar. My mother is the small child standing next to him.” says Paul.

Of course, it is desirable when relatives have some background information about their family members as this gives us a better picture of the person in question. I found the following records. *FRASER, Cyril Loyd Butler, e. Born 18/2/85-Commissioned 10/10/03. Lt.-Col. {Res. of Off.) 27/4/30 (18/10/35). Lt.-Col. 18/4/31. h.p. late R.A.S.C. 18/4/35. ret. 18/10/35. *National Library of Scotland, British Military Lists. King’s Messenger passport

The National Archive has several entries on Kings Messengers, but they are not accessible online. (service fees) has entries (some military data but mostly ship’s passenger lists). We know Fraser retired from the military in 1935 at the age of 50, but we don’t know when he became a King’s Messenger. This passport, however, was issued in 1942 and expired in 1944. Which makes him 57/59 years old when in service as one of “The King’s Foreign Service Messengers.” Ki

The Passport

King's Messenger passport
Well used King’s Messenger passport 1942-1944


The extra pages make the document “fat”

Robert Anthony Eden, a member of his Majesty’s Most Honorable Privy Council, a member of Parliament. His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs. Request and Require in the name of his Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow Lieutenant Colonel Cyril Loyd Butler Fraser charged with dispatches …to pass freely…Given at the Foreign Office London, 12 November 1942. King’s Messenger passport



Profession: King’s Messenger
POB: Sheerness. DOB: 18 Feb 1885. Height: 5’10. Eyes: Blue. Hair: Brown. Traveling to: British Empire, all allied and neutral countries. First Visa: Colombia issued in Washington, 16 Dec 1942. Last Visa: Colombia 19 May 1944.

Passport No.30 for Lieutenant Colonel Cyril Loyd Butler Fraser.
Profession: King’s Messenger










150+ visas within 16 months of travel to countries like Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Haiti, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, USA, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, The Netherlands (Suriname), El Salvador, Mexico, Ireland (Ireland visa issued in Washington is quite special). King’s Messenger passport

Diplomatic visas of Cuba and Ireland 1944


King's Messenger passport
Here you get some impression of the whole document.

Even when this KING’S MESSENGER PASSPORT is well worn, it is definitely a very desirable passport historical collectible as such documents were only issued to a few dozens of men, never for any woman. I would say this type is the rarest kind of travel document a collector can find of all British Empire passports. Hence, I am delighted that Paul made it possible to get such a passport into my archive.

In a request to the British Parliament in 2015, it was reported that then 16 Queens’s Messengers were in service. King’s Messenger passport



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