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JOCKETTE II: Pro Gallery


Type:  Cabin Cruiser
Length:  30 ft 3 ins
Beam:  9 ft
Draft:  3 ft 3 ins
Displacement:  9 tons approx.
Engine:  2 x BMC Diesels
Construction:  Carvel, mahogany on oak
Builder:  Watercraft, East Molesey
Year:  1938

Judge Adam Partington had Jockette II built by Watercraft of East Molesey in 1938 as a sturdy but modestly sized Thames cruiser and he took a keen personal interest in her construction. He only had two summers to enjoy her, before the war. He took her down-river to Leigh-on--Sea by the Thames, in Essex.

There she received her call to Dunkirk. Judge Partington, a generous man, took good care to stock her with beer and provisions and despatched her to Ramsgate to hand her over to the Navy.

At the time of Dunkirk, the sea was kind to them and Jockette II survived. She was one of the last vessels to leave Dunkirk and was abandoned in the Channel, later to be towed back to Ramsgate by the Royal Navy.

"Ricky" Latham, a young midshipman in the Royal Navy was put in charge. He was given a young 6ft 2in ex-public school (privately educated) seaman called Bruce as his crew and a Petty Officer engineer called Jimmy - who knew all about "deep sea steam" but little about small cruisers with Morris Navigator petrol engines. However, he proved a good cook and was much appreciated for that.

Ricky Latham remembers Jockette II fondly: "A good little boat, strong - take you anywhere - rolls a bit in a rough sea, but will always get you home."

After Dunkirk Jockette II was commissioned under the Nore Command and based at Lowestoft on the North-East coast of Suffolk. She was used as a contraband control patrol boat; a gun was mounted on her wheel-house roof and she was painted in battleship grey. She remained in active service until 1944 and returned to her original owner a little war-scarred, but in good form.

In 1964 Joan and Arthur Gingell bought her. In January 1965 they were astonished to learn that she was one of the brave fleet of Little Ships and of her distinguished history. They were invited to return to Dunkirk to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the BEF withdrawal.

Jockette II, as a founder member of the Association, has taken part in all the ‘weather permitting’ returns bar 1985, when fire caused by vandals damaged part of her wheelhouse and stern deck and repairs could not be completed in time.

Since Mr. Gingell died his widow Joan has sacrificed much financially to keep Jockette II. Her daughter Sandra, son-in-law and grandson James have worked hard to maintain this historic Little Ship, which Joan hopes will stay in the family for many years to come and pass on to her grandchildren.

Jockette II now spends her summers leisurely cruising the Thames. She is moored at Staines in the summer and over-winters at Ripley in Surrey, on the River Wey where she has her usual annual refit.

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