Philip Mickman in group photograph

Mickman with Mayor of Ossett on his left hand side.

Philip Mickman swam the Channel from France to England in 1949 before the Channel Swimming Association was reformed after the second World War. His swim was recognised around thirty years later, by the CSA – it was recorded in the 1980 handbook with Sally Bauer, who also swam during of the closure of the Association, her swim completed in 1939.

Philip Mickman first attempted to swim the channel in 1948 at the age of 17. This attempt was unsuccessful due to poor conditions (after 12 hours in the water). He tried again in the July of 1949, but again conditions were against him. He found himself swimming into a strong wind, and gave up after 13 hours at sea.

His third attempt in August of 1949 was, at last, successful, making him the youngest to have completed the swim at that time. Conditions were not perfect and it took him 23 hours,48min, landing at Kingsdown at 5.33am.

After a spell in the RAF he returned to Dover to complete his ambition, to complete the return journey, swimming from England to France. In September 1952, he achieved this, becoming the youngest man to swim the Channel both ways. Age 21.

A Black and White photograph from the Rob Whitewood collection.

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