THE train that brought Captain Fryatt’s body back to the UK after he was executed in the First World War will go on display in Harwich for the first time.

The Cavell Van carriage will be open to the public next July for the 100th anniversary of Captain Charles Fryatt’s return.

His coffin was exhumed from its grave in Bruges and transported from Antwerp to Dover with full military honours on July 8, 1919.

As Chopin’s Funeral March was played, the coffin was carried to Dover station, and from there taken to London for a state funeral service at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Captain Fryatt was one of only three bodies repatriated - with nurse Edith Cavell and the Unknown Warrior both also transported back to the UK on the Cavell Van.

Tony Elliston, chairman of the Harwich Mayflower Heritage Centre, said: “We are pleased to announce we have arranged for the nationally important Cavell Van to be on display in Harwich from July 5 to 14, 2019.

“As far as I know it’s the first time it has come to Harwich.

“It’s a very important artefact and it’s particularly poignant at the moment. It’s great to get it for the anniversary and particularly fitting with the recent restoration of his grave in Dovercourt as well.”

Captain Fryatt from Harwich, a master for the Great Eastern Railway based at Parkeston, was executed by the Germans in 1916.

The Harwich resident sailed more than 100 times between Harwich or Tilbury and Rotterdam during the war.

He was given a gold watch by directors of the Great Eastern Railway after refusing to stop for a German submarine during a routine passenger ferry crossing between Harwich and Rotterdam in March 1915. He was chased for 40 nautical miles but escaped.

Then, on March 28, 1915, off the coast of Holland, he was again signalled to stop, but refused to surrender and instead forced the submarine to crash-dive.

But despite receiving a gold watch from the Admiralty for his actions, it was this bravery that also led to his death.

Captured off the coast of Holland, he was taken to Bruges, where he was executed by firing squad on July 27.

Mr Elliston said: “Captain Fryatt had a state funeral.

“But when the funeral was held here the cortege apparently went from Dovercourt beach to All Saints Church and people were still leaving the beach when the cortege got to the church. It was a huge event locally.”

The van will be available to visit at the Mayflower Heritage Centre in George Street with a number of commemorative events in the pipeline for while the carriage is there.

Mr Elliston said: “We anticipate significant public interest in this commemoration: when the carriage was displayed in Norwich it received over 10,000 visitors.”