Captain Charles Fryatt
Courageous Mariner of the First World War
- Ben Carver
15th June 2016
At about 7 p.m. on 27 July 1916, the Germans committed one of the worst atrocities of the First World War. Captain Charles Algernon Fryatt, Master of the Great Eastern Railway ship SS Brussels, had been court-martialled, even though a civilian, for attempting to ram an attacking German submarine and being a franctireur. Having been found guilty, he was executed almost immediately by firing squad, after a show trial lasting barely two hours, during which he was afforded no proper defence. As happened following the execution of Edith Cavell in 1915, the event caused international outrage, and led to Fryatt’s body being repatriated after the war and given a ceremonial funeral.