Jabez Wolffe - Channel Swimmer

Sepia photograph on five men standing on a pebble beach. Left to Right; S. Atwood Dover Swimming Club, Official Observer, Dr Martin Hack, London Hospital, Wolffe, Kellingley, trainer, Mr. O. Player representing OXO.

Jacob Jabez Wolffe (1876 – 1943), son of a Glasgow watchmaker, made 21 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

William Kellingley was a leading figure in long distance swimming. He was the Brighton one mile Champion, and the winner of the half mile Championship.

He trained Millie Corson, Jabez Wolffe, Miss Lillian Harrison, an Argentine Distance Swimmer, in 1924, The Zittenfield twins, Frank Perks (who swam for ten hours in his France to England attempt), and Mrs Myrtil Huddlestone (she swam for 21hrs 13mins, England to France – she still had 7 miles to go to Cap-Gris-Nez). He also trained Edouard Bernat (swam for 15hrs from Shakespeare Beach), Captain George Morris, Miss Eva Morrison, and lastly George Brewster, who later swam in the 1950 Mail Race.

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