Edward Temme

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Edward Harry Temme (16 September 1904 – 26 June 1977) was a London insurance clerk. He was the first man to swim across the English Channel both ways, from France to England on 5 August 1927 and from England to France on 18 August 1934.[1][2] He was also a water polo player who competed in the 1928 Summer Olympics and in the 1936 Summer Olympics.


Temme was born in Stratford Road, Plaistow and died in Padova, Italy. He was a member of the British team in the 1928 tournament. He played all four matches. Eight years later he was part of the British team which finished eighth in the 1936 tournament. He played six matches.

Temme kept his job and trained to cross the English Channel after work and weekends. He was 200 pounds, and 6 feet 2 inches tall. He swam from France to England on August 5, 1927 starting at Gris Nez.[1]


  1. ^ a b "E. H. Temme Crosses From Gris Nez in 14 Hours, 29 Minutes, With Steady Trudgeon Stroke. 200-Pound, 6-Foot Briton Beats by Two Minutes the Time Made by Miss Ederle a Year Ago Today". New York Times. August 6, 1927. Retrieved 2010-08-11. Edward Harry Temme, a 22-year-old London insurance clerk, swam across the English Channel today from Cape Gris-Nez to Lydden Spout, two miles west of Dover, in fourteen hours, twentynine minutes, beating Gertrude Ederle's time, made a year ago tomorrow, by two minutes, but not touching the records set by Ernst Vierkoetter, Georges Michel and Norman Leslie Durham. 
  2. ^ "Frog v. Eagle". Time magazine. August 15, 1927. Retrieved 2010-08-11. Last week, the day before the first anniversary of Gertrude Ederle's brass-band-accompanied swim across the English Channel, one Edward Harry Temme, 22-year-old London insurance "clark" (clerk), inserted his strong body (length, 6 ft. 2 in.; weight, 205 Ibs.) into the bitterly cold waves off Cape Gris-Nez, France, and commenced a steady trudgeon stroke toward England. 

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