The first entry in the Certificate of British Registry lists Jesse Frank Collier, Master Builder from Worthing, Sussex as the owner in March, 1936. The Certificate also refers to an auxiliary petrol internal combustion engine, 1934, Stuart Turner, 2 cylinder, 6hp. We assume this to be her first auxiliary engine.
Perhaps her most illustrious owner, Sir Lancelot Henry Elphinstone, is listed in the Certificate of British Registry as a Barrister, and owning ‘Cachalot’ from 8 April, 1936. We know a little about his military career, but sadly, nothing about his interest in ‘Cachalot’ and he sold her after only four months to two stock brokers; Herbert Charles Norton, Stock Jobber from Amersham, Bucks., and Hugh Leycester Bedwell, Stock Broker from Warwick Square, London in August, 1936. These same two owners are listed in the Lloyds Register of Yachts (1937-39), along with reference to the same Stuart Turner petrol engine.
When did Hubert Somervell purchase ‘Cachalot’, and did he own her when she was requisitioned to take part in Operation Dynamo, May 1940?
‘Cachalot’ is a member of the Dunkirk Little Ships Association and listed amongst the vessels requisitioned to assist in the evacuation of Dunkirk. This means she can fly the Dunkirk Jack when the skipper is aboard. She has taken part in events run by the ADLS, including the 1990 ‘Return to Dunkirk’. During the war years, the Lloyds Register was not published. In 1947 she is listed as being owned by Hubert Somervell, living in London, still with her Stuart Turner petrol engine. Hubert Somervell is also listed in the ‘Alterations and additions to the 1939 Register’ published 1946 to incorporate supplements from May and July 1939. There is also a gap in the Certificate of British Registry from 1939, Hubert Somervell is not recorded as her owner there.