Edward Temme

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Edward Temme
Edward Harry Temme

(1904-09-16)16 September 1904
Plaistow, Essex, England
Died26 June 1977(1977-06-26) (aged 72)
Padua, Veneto, Italy
OccupationSwimmer; insurance clerk

Edward Harry Temme (16 September 1904 – 26 June 1977) was an English swimmer and insurance clerk.

Temme 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 in Amsterdam and the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.


Temme was born in Stratford Road, Plaistow, Essex (now part of east London). He was a member of the British water polo team that finished fourth at the 1928 Summer Olympics, playing in four matches. Eight years later, he was part of the British team that finished eighth at the 1936 Summer Olympics, playing in six matches.

Temme kept his job as an insurance clerk and trained to cross the English Channel after work and at weekends. He was 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and weighed 200 pounds (91 kg). He swam from France to England on 5 August 1927, starting at Cap Gris-Nez near Calais and reaching Lydden Spout, near Dover, in 14½ hours.[1]

He died in Padua, Veneto, Italy.


  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". The New York Times. 6 August 1927. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 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, twenty-nine 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. ^ "Sport: Frog v. Eagle". Time. 15 August 1927. Retrieved 11 August 2010. 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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