Sir Francis Chichester Commemorative Album (AD/6)

SWiB Reference AD/6
Accession Number 13
Coverage Temporal 1967
Type Photographic

Administrative Detail -

Sir Francis Chichester was born in Barnstaple, Devon, England 17 September 1901 – 26 August 1972. Aviator and sailor, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for becoming the first person to sail single-handed around the world by the clipper route, and the fastest circumnavigator, in nine months and one day overall.

In 1960, he entered and won the first single-handed transatlantic yacht race, which he had co-founded, in the yacht Gipsy Moth III. He came second in the second race four years later.

On 27 August 1966 he sailed his ketch Gipsy Moth IV from Plymouth, England and returned there after 226 days of sailing on 28 May 1967, having circumnavigated the globe, with one stop (in Sydney, Australia). By doing so, he became the first person to achieve a true circumnavigation of the world solo from West to East via the great capes. The voyage was also a race against the clock as Sir Francis wanted to better the typical times achieved by the fastest fully crewed clipper ships during the heyday of commercial sail in the 19th century, (the first recorded solo circumnavigation of the globe was achieved by Joshua Slocum in 1898 but it took him three years with numerous stops - Slocum also took up the harder challenge of sailing east to west, against the prevailing wind).

Chichester was knighted for this achievement. For the ceremony, the Queen used the sword used by a predecessor of hers, Queen Elizabeth I, to knight the adventurer Sir Francis Drake (the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe). He was also honoured by a 1/9 postage stamp in 1967, which showed him aboard Gipsy Moth IV, even though he was neither royal nor dead when the stamp was issued.

In 1970, Chichester attempted to sail 4,000 miles in 20 days, in Gipsy Moth V but failed by one day.

Francis Chichester died of cancer in Plymouth, Devon on 26 August 1972, and was buried in a small village church outside Barnstaple, called Shirwell.

The album was deposited with SWiB in 2007.

Scope and Content -

Album of photographs accounting for the nautical ventures of Sir Francis Chichester who returned to Plymouth on the Gypsy Moth V in 1970. Includes images of Sir Francis with members of his family and crew and an image showing a cake made to honour his voyages, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966 and 1967.

Access -

Open access.

View the SWiB Collection Galleries page for access to the images.

Or contact us to book an appointment to view the collection onsite or request further information.

Reproduction Conditions -

Reproduction from scanned surrogates of originals in accordance with appropriate copy ordering proceedure.

Note -

Description compiled by Stacey Dyer, Archivist, 1 October 2008.


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