The Attempt to Swim the Channel: 'Black and White' featuring Montague Holbein
BLACK & WHITE September 6 1902 ‘The Attempt To Swim The English Channel’ Image shows page 338 of this publication, featuring four pictures of Channel swimmer Montague Holbein during his failed attempt of August 1902.
The pictures are accompanied by the following caption: Mr Montague Holbein’s second attempt to swim the English Channel was, like the first, unsuccessful. This time, however, he had all but succeeded when a tide carried him from his goal. He had swum fifty-three miles in twenty-two hours.
Montague ‘Monty’ Holbein. Made 11 attempts but all failed. The attempt in 1904 was in the first ever Channel Race – Holbein, Greasley and Haggerty were each sponsored by a different newspaper (Holbein’s was the Daily Mirror) but none finished. Holbein’s pacemaker was Burgess and his wife played gramophone records to keep him entertained. His boat was the Tug ‘Scotia’ under Captain Anning, piloted by Captain Foster. He wore a face mask with built-in goggles, affixed to his face with Colloid, and was heavily greased all over.
Holbein made eleven unsuccessful swims from 1901 to 1913; England to France: 1 Sept 1903 (17hrs 23m); 20/8/04 (10hrs 03m); 24/8/05 (7h 27m); 22/8/13 (2hrs); 11/9/13 (5hrs)
France to England: 24/8/01 (12hrs 46m); 31/7/02 (12hrs 30m); 27/8/02 (22hrs 21m); 1/9/07 (7hrs 15m); 11/8/09 (12hrs); 3/9/11 (10hrs 30m). Best swim, 1902 quarter mile from English coast.
He was a runner, cyclist, and swimmer. He won the 24hr cycle race (North Road) for four successive years.