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LIVERPOOL STREET STATION, CHARLES ALGERNON FRYATT MEMORIAL

Compiled and Copyright © Martin Edwards 2006

Photographs Copyright © Martin Edwards 2006

TO THE MEMORY OF
CAPTAIN CHARLES FRYATT
† JULY 27TH 1916 †
FROM THE NEUTRAL ADMIRERS OF HIS BRAVE
CONDUCT AND HEROIC DEATH
THE NETHERLANDS SECTION OF THE LEAGUE
OF NEUTRAL STATES JULY 27TH 1917

The memorial is off to the side in Liverpool Street Station, made from marble with a circular bronze portrait of Charles Fryatt, the artists was H. T. H. van Golberdinge. Charles Algernon Fryatt (1872-1916), was the 44 year old Master of the unarmed Great Eastern Railway Steamer merchant ship, SS Brussels and a regular on the Rotterdam/British East Coast route since the start of the war and this was the cause of much annoyance to the Germans. Fryatt had used the Brussels to help evacuate many Allied troops from France during the First World War. In March 1915 they made two determined efforts to sink the Brussels. On the 3rd March 1915 Capt. Fryatt successfully dodged an attack on his ship by a U-Boat and sailed home to a heroes reception and was presented with a gold watch by the ship's owners.

On the 28th March 1915 a further attempt was made to sink his ship by a U-Boat. Capt. Fryatt saw it surface and as it was trying to line up a torpedo shot on the ship, he turned the helm over and bore down on the U-Boat which was forced to crash dive in order to avoid him. It appears that the U-Boat passed from starboard to port under the ship as it surfaced close enough to the ship so that, as Capt. Fryatt reported "you could have easily hung your hat on the periscope as she lay along side us". The U-Boat then disappeared never to be seen again. Capt. Fryatt was awarded another gold watch, this time by the Admiralty. Captain Fryatt continued his voyages for another fifteen months until on the 23rd June, 1916, he was trapped by a flotilla of German torpedo boats and taken to Zeebrugge. For his audacity in rescuing Allied troops and for his breach of military etiquette, Fryatt was summarily shot by his captors. Captain Fryatt was one of the very few British casualties to be repatriated for burial and he was also one of the even smaller group to be repatriated post-war. He was buried at Dovercourt, Essex on 9th July 1919 having been executed at Bruges on 27th July 1916.

Last updated 25 August, 2009
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