SS Brussels

A Great Eastern Railway Steam Ship built in 1902 Gourlay Brothers Ship Builders of Dundee, for the Harwich-Antwerp service. She was fitted with wireless telegraphy and submarine signalling.

Captured by German Naval Forces 23rd June 1916. Captain Charles Algernon Fryatt was executed and the male members of the crew interned as civilian prisoners of war.

The female stewardesses were released after a few weeks.

A SS Brussels passenger on that final voyage was Lucas Martinus DU TOIT was recently released Prisoner of War and was allowed to continue his jorney to England three weeks later. He was held in Brixton Prison upon arrival in England on suspicion of being a German agent.

 Records in The National Archives

See entry for Fryatt, Charles Algernon for archives specifically related to him

  • BT 99/3210 Crew agreement and list of crew 1/1/1916 – 30/6/1916
  • CAB 24/111 ‘First, Second and Third Interim reports from the Committee of Enquiry Into Breaches of the Laws of War’ includes detailed account of the capture of the SS Brussels and Captain FRYATT’s trial.
  • CO 323/830/39 Belgium Prize Court proceedings: printed judgments March 1920
  • FO 383/201 Confirmation that Mr W Hartnell, Chief Officer, and other crew members, were being held in Ruhleben Camp
  • FO 383/202 List of crew being transfered to the military camp at Brandenburg
  • FO 383/208 List of processions of Captain Fryatt of 55A Oakland Road Dovercourt Essex [in German] and reference to Lucas Martinus DU TOIT was on board the ship when captured and was suspected German spy.
  • FO 383/209 Interned seamen of the SS Brussels, including: Birth certificate of Mr Henry Gilbert, Birth certificate of Mr Frederick Thurlow; enquiry from Mr W J Hawkins about the possibility of Mr Thurlow’s release. Arrangements for the repatriation of five stewardesses, including an interview with two of the stewardesses, Miss Bobby and Miss Elwood. Confirmation that the steward, Mr Richard Toven, was in good health. Confirmation that Mr W Hartnell, the Chief Officer, was in good health.
  • MT 85/360 Receipt of note from US Ambassador via Foreign Office re Whereabouts of Hartnell (item M28135)
  • MT 9/1253 List of miltary and civilan prisoners (War Office no OP6004) including pilot F J Payne and W Whymark
  • MT 9/1991 Deaths of crew members James Whyatt and George Peter Carter
  • RAIL 227/186 Great Eastern Railway Board minutes
  • RAIL 227/214 Index of Great Eastern Railway cross referencing Board GER minutes in RAIL 227/186

External Links

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