John Avery Heritage
Member Southampton Heritage Federation
 Sharing local history with the community
In 1967 the Queen Mary set off on her final voyage to Longbeach, California. This watercolour by Eric Crompton records the farewell.A stone carving on the RSH Hospital Chapel.An afternoon stroll on Plymouth Breakwater
John Avery is a Fellow of the Huguenot Society of Britain and Ireland, a member of Southampton
Heritage Federation, City of Southampton Society [Honorary Life Member], Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery [Honorary Life Member],  Friends of  Town Quay Park, National Federation of Cemetery Friends, The Southampton Fryatt Plaque, Devon Family History Society, West Country Historic Omnibus & Transport Trust , Landmark Trust, National Trust
Copyright 2018

   Home      The Southampton Fryatt Plaque

Southampton born Captain Charles Fryatt, in 1915 attempted to ram an enemy U Boat with his ship in order to take an opportunity to escape. Later in 1916, he was captured executed by a firing squad. Members of the Fryatt family with Geoff Watts, John Avery, Genevieve Bailey, A.G.K. Leonard, Will Temple and Barry Gilbert are proposing a plaque in his memory at Holyrood Church - the merchant service memorial.
The Southampton Fryatt Plaque an unregistered charity was launched on 19th June 2014. The inaugural meeting followed the illustrated talk Southampton Cenotaph by Lona Fryatt [Southampton Cenotaph Families and Friends Group]at the Southampton Local History Forum at the Northguild Lecture Theatre, Art Gallery entrance at the Civic Centre. The committee consists of Peter Fryatt, Chairman
                                                                                                             Geoff Watts, Secretary
                                                                                                             John Avery, Treasurer
                                                                                                             Brenda White, Membership Secretary

If you were unable to attend but would be in support please register your interest at contact

See article by AGK Leonard in the Journal of Southampton Local History Forum No 18 2011 

Unveiling of the plaque to Captain Charles Fryatt

The plaque was unveiled by members of the Fryatt family during the Merchant Navy Association Annual Commemoration Service at the Holyrood Memorial, High Street Southampton on 3rd September at noon. The service was conducted by John Attenborough, Port Chaplain. In association with this event Mark Baker hosted an exhibition Captain Fryatt - The  Martyr of Bruges at the Masonic Hall, Albion Place on 2nd and 3rd September from 10 am to 5 pm 

Fryatt family at the dedication service to the Southampton Fryatt Plaque 3 Sept 2017 image  Ann MacGillivrayWreath on behalf Southampton Fryatt Plaque and The Fryatt Family image Ann MacGillivraylocal historian Genevieve Bailey at the MNA Commemoration service 2017 image Ann MacGillivrayOn a rainy day the Fryatt family gather for the dedication of the Southampton Fryatt Plaque image Ann MacGillivrayStandard bearers at the MNA service 2017 image Ann MacGillivray


The Southampton Fryatt Plaque is a charitable association that has  been  established in order to raise funds for a memorial plaque

 to be installed  in Holyrood Church, 

Southampton’s Merchant Navy Memorial,

to commemorate Captain Charles Fryatt.

The Association was formally established in November 2014 and is

being managed by a small management group consisting of

 Peter Fryatt (chairman), Geoff Watts (secretary), John Avery (treasurer), Lona Fryatt (member), Rex Fryatt (member)


Progress to Date

Progress since the AGM held in May 2015 has been somewhat

slower than anticipated and it is now planned to have the plaque

installed and unveiled at Holyrood Church in Spring 2017.

As Holyrood is a scheduled monument it has been necessary to obtain

 approvals from Southampton City Council and Historic England (previously English Heritage). This has proved a

lengthy and time consuming  process, made more difficult by

 staff shortages and limited capacity.

However, we now have the outline approvals to proceed in place. 

We have received a firm quotation for the production and

installation of the plaque from our stonemasons, Allstone of Southampton and an order for the work to take place will be

 issued shortly .



We are very grateful for the donations and subscriptions

 received. So that the plaque could be ordered – it is likely to take

 several months to be made – we had to have in our bank

 account sufficient monies to cover the actual cost of the plaque.

The shortfall between donations/subscriptions received so

 far and the plaque cost, has been underwritten by members

 of the committee to enable the order to be placed. That gave us a

current balance of £1020, an amount that covers the cost of

making the plaque. We wish to arrange for a ceremony of

unveiling at Holy Rood church and also a small reception


We are, therefore, still actively appealing for

 donations towards our overall costs and any help will be

 very welcome and gratefully received.


Captain Fryatt Commemorations 2016

There have been a number of commemorative events this year in the UK

 and Belgium.

Our group has been represented at Harwich  and in London

 for the Merchant Navy Association Commemorative Service.

Harwich held a number of events on the centenary of the execution.

This included a ceremony to launch a rose that has been

specially produced and named after Captain Fryatt. This was

 followed by a reception at the Captain Fryatt pub where we

 met other members of the family . In the evening there was a

memorial service at All Saints Church attended by a number of

 local dignitaries and organisations. There was extensive coverage

 of these events on local radio and television throughout the day.

The Merchant Navy Association Commemorative Service was a

major event held at Tower Hill. Members of the family were

invited guests and the ceremony included a presentation abou

 Captain Fryatt by Roger Hoefling, a well known researcher and

author. After the ceremony we were able to meet a number of

people at the reception including Roger Hoefling, Ben Carver, 

the author of “Captain Charles Fryatt – Courageous Mariner of the

 First World War”, published this year, and Captain Charles Woodward

 of the Merchant Navy Association who is very supportive of our

plaque project.

Captain Fryatt Exhibition

Whilst in Harwich we attended a special exhibition

 entitled  “Captain Fryatt, The Martyr of Bruges”                                

 which ran for the week of the centenary. This was extremely

comprehensive and informative  and included much

previously unseen material. 

The exhibition was also displayed at the reception following the Merchant
Navy Association Commemorative Service

and created a good deal of interest. 

We have discussed the possibility of bringing the exhibition to

Southampton with the organiser Mark Baker. Ideally we would like

 this to coincide with the unveiling ceremony of the plaque and

are currently researching possible venues. 

The Next Steps

The order to manufacture and fit the plaque in Holyrood Church

should be issued by Southampton City Council in the next few days.

Allstones have indicated that it will take 15 – 18 weeks to

 complete the work which means that realistically the plaque

should be in place in early 2017.

At that point we will organise the unveiling ceremony and

 reception, probably in March/April, and hopefully this will

 include the exhibition at an appropriate venue.

We are currently in contact with the local branch of the RBL

and the Master Mariners/other parties who may wish to join

 us at the unveiling ceremony

Peter Fryatt

September 2016

9th November 2014  The descendents and family of Captain Charles Fryatt and supporters of the Southampton Fryatt plaque met at the Remembrance Service at Southampton Cenotaph. Captain Fryatt, born in Southampton in December 1871 had been omitted from the names carved on the Cenotaph. As the portland stone is now weathering, glass panels with the names laser etched have been added to the memorial. Charles Algernon Fryatt has been added to the panels. [Images courtesy Den White]
Southampton Cenotaph Nov 2014. The Fryatt family and supporters of Southampton Fryatt Plaque at the Remembrance Service. Image Den White.Image Den WhiteSouthampton Cenotaph image Den White
Southampton Cenotaph image Den White The Fryatt inscription on glass panel at Southampton Cenotaph image courtesy Lona Fryatt.


snowfall Southampton Old Cemetery courtesy FoSOCSeamen's strike at Southampton 1966Royal Blues at Bournemouth c 1949 photo by Derek Amey local historians Jim Brown and John Avery deep in thought. Image Ann MacGillivray Veronica Tippetts addressing Court Leet Oct 2nd 2012. Image Will TempleJohn Melody Southampton Town Crier at Court Leet 2012. Image Will Temple