FLAGS will be flown at half-mast to mark the anniversary of the execution of a First World War hero.

Captain Charles Fryatt, from Harwich, was killed after ramming a German U-boat after refusing to surrender.

A master for the Great Eastern Railway based at Parkeston, Captain Fryatt was killed by the Germans in 1916.

In 2016, the centenary of his execution, the Harwich Society wrote to the town council to request it made July 27, the date of the execution, Fryatt Day on the Harwich Peninsula and asked all flags on buildings in the town be flown at half-mast.

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The council backed the idea and so the flag above the Guildhall and other sites will be flown at half-mast tomorrow.

Town councillor Garry Calver oversaw the project to refurbish Captain Fryatt’s grave in Dovercourt’s All Saints’ churchyard in 2018.

“I was with the Fryatt family at the centenary commemorations and they were pleased and moved when I explained about Fryatt Day.

“They are grateful to the people of Harwich for keeping Captain Fryatt’s memory alive and this is an annual show of respect for a local and national hero.”

Captain Fryatt sailed more than 100 times between Harwich or Tilbury and Rotterdam during the war.

He refused 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.

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.

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

His body was returned to England in July 1919 when he was taken by gun carriage to St Paul’s Cathedral for a memorial service attended by members of the royal family.

A train from London Liverpool Street brought his body home to rest in Dovercourt.