The Gipsy Moth IV in Greenwich Part 1
Part one, today, of a story that we all know about, but that Gerald Dodd, the Dreadnought Hospital Porter who never seems to have been without his camera in the 1960s, actually witnessed.
I guess the story begins on the 4th April, 1581 when Queen Elizabeth I knighted Sir Francis Drake on the deck of his ship the Golden Hinde after his circumnaviagtion of the world (though I suspect it probably had more to do with his bringing her back a load of ill-gotten booty as a nice souvenir) and ordered that the ship “be drawn up in a little crecke neare Deptford upon the Thames to be preserved for all posterity.”
When, during the second Elizabethan age, there was another chap called Francis who circumnavigated the world, only the second-ever to do it after a gap of 62 years, it seemed the right thing to do the dubbing thing in Greenwich, despite the fact that I’m not aware of any booty brought back for Her Majesty. Sir Francis Chichester was knighted on his Yacht the Gipsy Moth IV in July 1967 with the same sword the first Elizabeth had used for Sir Francis Drake.
There are quite a lot of pictures out there of the actually dubbery – here’s one from Gipsy Moth Collection which, if you have a couple of hundred thousand dollars, is up for sale.
But I confess to being rather enchanted by Gerald’s pictures, as one of the crowd. You can tell just where he was standing when the Royal Limo arrived – check out a few of the nurses from the hospital in the first pic, they’d been allowed out to have a sneaky look – and he also got a little shot of Her Majesty herself:
Next time, what happened five years later…
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