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Chevillotte Frères (Shipping company, France)

Last modified: 2005-04-09 by ivan sache
Keywords: chevillotte freres | letters: cf (red) |
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[Chevillotte houseflag]by Jarig Bakker

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Presentation of Chevillotte Frères

Information on Chevillotte Frères can be found in the Cahiers de l'Iroise, a quarterly review published by the Société d'Etudes de Brest et du Léon, #166, April 1995. The issue is entitled Bretons dans la Grande Guerre (Bretons during the Great War) and includes some articles on the local shipping companies. The history of Chevillotte Frères is related in the two following papers:

  • France et Jean-Paul Chevillotte, La compagnie Chevillotte Frères dans la Grande Guerre, p. 41-46
  • Annie Henwood, Activités de la Société d'Etudes: février 1995, p. 77 (conference by J-P Chevillotte on the company, given on 14 February)

The Chevillotte family came from Burgundy to Brest at the end of the XVIIIth century. Jean Chevillotte was a merchant and manufacturer; he started shipping activity in 1841, with great success due to the creation of the commerce port of Brest. At the end of the XIXth century, Chevillotte Frères operated ten small ships, mostly built in Britain and named after places in Finistère.

The 1893 law favoured the sailing ships to the detriment of the steamships. In 1906, a new law attempted to boost the merchant navy; however, the big ships required important funds and were underused, which caused a decrease in the price of freight. The facilities in the port of Brest were insuffucient and inadequate and the handling charges increased. In 1904, the Chevillotte building was attacked during the dockers' strike.

In 1911, the Compagnie Brestoise de Navigation à Vapeur sold its ships to Chevillotte Frères. The company started a restructuring programme, which was stopped by the breakout of the First World War. According to a law passed in 1877, the French Navy could requisition the merchant ships and equip them with defensive arms. Germany considered these ships as auxiliary vessels, which could be attacked without warning. During the War, Chevillotte Frères lost four ships, that is 40% of the fleet. The economical crisis hit the company, who sold its last five ships in February 1924. In 1925, the Chevillotte registered as shipping agents.

Ivan Sache & Jan Mertens, 28 December 2004

House flag of Chevillotte Frères

The house flag of Chevillotte Frères is white with a red border and the red letters CF in the middle.

Source: Brown's Flags and Funnels of British and Foreign Steamship Companies [wed26]

Jarig Bakker, 20 December 2004