established in 1994 in memory of

James Graham Farncombe Fraser MA BM BCh (Oxon) FRCS

(1936 – 1994)



James Graham Farncombe Fraser, a consultant otolaryngologist at University College London Hospitals since 1971, died 8 February 1994 aged 57. Born London, 1 May 1936; educated Westminster School and Worcester College, Oxford, and Guy’s Hospital (BM BCh 1961). Registrar in otolaryngology, University College Hospital; senior registrar, Guy’s Hospital; consultant, Royal National Throat, Nose, and Ear Hospital, London. FRCS examiner, 1989-93; Member of council of management, Royal National Institute for Deaf People, 1974-90; founder member, International Cochlear Implant Association, 1987-94; first president of British Cochlear Implant Group, 1990-3. Patron, National Association of Deafened People, 1986-94, and British Society of Hearing Therapists, 1991-4.



Graham Fraser’s great interest was the treatment of the profoundly deaf by cochlear implants. His untimely death in 1994 cut short much promising research and development work designed to improve the quality of life of those disabled by profound deafness. In recognition of his great achievements and of the need for his work to continue, his friends and hospital colleagues set up the Foundation in his memory.



The late Lord Ashley of Stoke (1922-2012), as Patron of the Foundation wrote:


” Graham Fraser transformed my life and that of many others. A visionary, who saw the practical possibilities of cochlear implants, he sought and fought for a national implant programme in Britain. He had to contend with the doubts of some surgeons, the refusal of the National Health Service to help initially, and lack of funds. That he succeeded is a tribute to his far-sightedness, determination and courage. Britain’s cochlear implant programme is a great memorial to Graham Fraser and the gratitude and affection of his patients cannot be measured.”


from The Independent 23 February 1994



Graham Fraser with Lord Ashley of Stoke

October 1993

The Rt. Hon. Lord Ashley of Stoke CH

(1922 – 2012)


Jack Ashley died on 20 April 2012 aged 89. He became Patron of the Graham Fraser Foundation at its inauguration in May 1994. He was very supportive of the Foundation’s activities and attended the annual Memorial Lectures until prevented by ill health from doing so. Jack was renowned for his campaigning on behalf of the disabled and disadvantaged and many are the tributes that have been paid to him on his memorial website ( Profoundly deaf himself, he was with his late wife, Pauline, a founder of both Deafness Research UK ( and the National Cochlear Implant Users Association (


Although Jack had never let his profound deafness hold him back, his quality of life was enhanced when he received a cochlear implant in 1993. On national television he expressed the joy he felt on hearing the sound of his grandchildren’s voices for the first time. He campaigned with the team led by Graham Fraser for the establishment of a nationwide cochlear implant programme. In recent years he was vociferous whenever funding issues threatened access to cochlear implants for those in need. In Jack Ashley the Graham Fraser Foundation has lost one of its greatest supporters and a dear friend.