Small Craft

Late 19th & Early 20th Century British Yachting

The Sailors: Amateur British & Irish Yachtsmen Before World War One

E. Keble Chatterton, 1878–1944

Edward Keble Chatterton was born on 10 September 1878, at 76, Rock Street, Sheffield. Between 1902 and 31 December 1945, when he died, he had wrote 76 books, plus numerous pamphlets, magazine articles, and reviews.

Here's To Holland in a 4-Tonner published in The Yachting Monthly in January of 1911. This article, illustrated by ship-mate Norman S. Carr was the basis for Chatterton's book Through Holland in the Vivette published in 1913. One of the fascinating aspects of the article (for me anyway) is the relation of a meeting with another English yacht, Mave Rhoe, formerly owned by Charles Pears and then by Arthur Watts. The description of the meeting is somewhat brief in this article. A more detailed version of the encounter is included in Chatterton's Vivette book and the specific excerpt can be found on the Mave Rhoe page. Pears also wrote an article for The Yachting Monthly in 1908 entitled Bringing Home the Mave Rhoe. Lots of fun connections here! It is also interesting to see Carr's depictions of himself and Chatterton. Carr was quite tall and thin and so he appears in every self-depiction—usually with a pipe in his mouth. Chatterton was just the opposite—short-ish and a bit portly.

During the war, Chatterton volunteered with the R.N.V.R., being placed in command of the Motor Launch flotilla stationed at Queenstown (Cobh). He had command of ML 181. It was during the war that The Yachting Monthly poked gentle fun at Chatterton's less-than-svelte figure in an illustration entitled The Keble-Chat. He finished the war as a Lieutenant-Commander and described his experiences in a few books including The Auxiliary Patrol published in 1923. One distinction he had was being the first, with some supernumary officials aboard his ML, to greet the United States Navy as they sent the first ships across the Atlantic upon entering the war in 1917.

Gary Acheson has compiled a definitive catalog of his nearly complete collection of Chatterton's works.


  • Vivette