Channel swimmer Jabez Wolffe prepares to start crossing from Cape Gris Nez

Channel swimmer

Jabez ‘Jappy’ Wolffe with trainer Billy Kellingley

Jacob Jabez Wolffe (1876 – 1943), son of a Glasgow jeweller, made 22 unsuccessful attempts to swim the Channel from 18 July 1906 to 15 July 1914.

He made three attempts in 1906. Two in 1907. Four in 1908. Two in 1909. 2 in 1910. Two in 1911. Two in 1912. One in 1913 and one in 1914. The first World War then put a stop to his attempts.

He swam a double Solent in June 1914. After the War he trained Gertrude Ederle on her unsuccessful attempt in 1925. He then trained three successful Ladies; Hilda Sharp, Aug 1928. Peggy Duncan Sept 1930, and Sunny Lowry Aug 1933.

He married Florence Adeline Hurwitz at London in 1898

He moved to Brighton to operate as a swimming trainer, the home town of his own trainer Billy Kellingly. Billy soon afterwards moved to Deal in Kent and in the early 1930s, in the middle of training Sunny Lowry, the Wolffes moved to Margate. With the outbreak of war in 1939 he moved back to Hove where he died in 1943

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