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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

SS Brussels


oscarquebec

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Intriguing post card sent to my wife’s grandmother during WW1. The sender indicates to the right of post card the partly submerged wreck of the steam ship Brussels off the quay at Zeebrugge. Apparently the ship’s captain Charles Fryatt had attempted to ram a German submarine U33. Fryatt was captured and despite being a civilian was court-martialled and executed by firing squad on 2 July 1916.

 

I’m trying to find out more about the sender of the post card who simply addresses himself as Z100 Pte A Pack c/o Officers Quarters, Royal Marines, Ostend.

 

I’ve check Ancestry, National Archives etc without success. Any help appreciated.

SS Brussels.jpg

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33 minutes ago, oscarquebec said:

Intriguing post card sent to my wife’s grandmother during WW1.

 

34 minutes ago, oscarquebec said:

c/o Officers Quarters, Royal Marines, Ostend.

Ostend was in German hands from mid-October 1914.

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22 minutes ago, horatio2 said:

 

Ostend was in German hands from mid-October 1914.

horatio, do you think Z100 could be Private A Pack's local service number. I note that Royal Marines at the time had a prefix and that Z could stand for Zeebrugge?? This postcard was evidently sent post war.

Edited by Gunner 87
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Z100 is not an RM Register No. and a post-WW1 RM connection to Ostend eludes me.

One possibility is a connection to the post-war reconstruction of the Belgian ports.

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After the Armistice a party of men from the Royal Marine Engineers were based for several months at Ostend supervising some 2,000 Belgian workmen in making good the damage done by the Germans and clearing the obstructions in the harbour and canal. This could account for an "Officers' Quarters, Royal Marines, Ostend". However, no "Private A PACK" in RME (or any other RM formation) has been identified.

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2 hours ago, horatio2 said:

After the Armistice a party of men from the Royal Marine Engineers were based for several months at Ostend supervising some 2,000 Belgian workmen in making good the damage done by the Germans and clearing the obstructions in the harbour and canal. This could account for an "Officers' Quarters, Royal Marines, Ostend". However, no "Private A PACK" in RME (or any other RM formation) has been identified.

 

If the postcard represents something actually seen by Pte A Pack, then there was a very brief window of opportunity when this could have happened – October 1918 to August 1919

 

The Germans went on to rename their war prize Brugge using her as a submarine depot ship. On 5th October 1918 under the threat of British invasion Brugge was scuttled at the entrance to Zeebrugge harbour as a block ship to protect the submarine base. With the war over the wreck was raised during August 1919, taken in tow to Antwerp in December and handed back to the British Government on 26th April 1920 at Antwerp.

From:-https://www.harwich-history.co.uk/captain-fryatt/

 

_90328365_fryatt8img_5318.jpg.dfc76d8909eb04dd3a540d17e8948532.jpg

 

Edited by michaeldr
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The reverse is damaged and unclear having been stuck in a photo album. Pack appears to describe himself as being on active duty,

The post mark 'Received From HM Ship'

The blurred date could be Jun 15 19. I assume June 5th 1919.

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