French, June

June French (born 1912) was originally from Shoreditch in London but had worked at Brighton’s Lyons Corner House as a ‘Nippy’ waitress for 2½ years when she was selected by Jabez Wolffe for Channel training at Brighton in 1931. In May 1931 Wolffe took French, Elsie West and Peggy Duncan to Cap Gris Nez and on to Le Touquet where they set up a training camp, returning to Gris-nez in late July to make attempts. The conditions were very poor and French finally gave up in the first week of September without making an attempt

The publicity from her attempt had pleased J. Lyons, her employer, and they transferred her to a Nippy position in central London. Lyons hired the Marshall Street Baths in Westminster in October and French, with Wolffe, gave a swimming demonstration to Lyons employees, including about 800 Nippies

She carried on training with Wolffe with the expectation of trying the Channel again in 1932 but in August that year announced she had been offered a trainee manager position with Lyons and her career must now come before swimming

CHANNEL SWIM ASPIRANT. Miss June French, an 18-year-old waitress employed by Messrs. J. Lyons and Co., Ltd., at Brighton, is being trained by Mr. Jabez Wolfe for an attempt to swim the Channel.
6 March 1931 – Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser

CHANNEL SWIM. Miss Mickey West and Miss June French, English girls, and Miss Peggy Duncan (South Africa) arrived at Boulogne from Folkestone yesterday, wires the Exchange, and went on to Touquet to train under Jabez Wolfe for the Channel swim.
27 May 1931 – Sheffield Daily Telegraph

Miss Lily Copplestone of New Zealand. was the fourth woman to arrive in Boulogne to train for the Channel swim. The other three aspirants already here are Miss Peggy Duncan, Miss Elsie West and Miss June French.
12 July 1931 – The People

Le Touquet, Wednesday. The Channel swimming boom begins on Friday, when Mrs Eva Coleman takes the plunge from Cap Gris Nez. June French, the London “Nippy” follows her on August 12, and from Dover on August 21 Peggy Duncan, the South African
6 August 1931 – Aberdeen Press and Journal

Miss Duncan, of Capetown; Miss Elsie West of Milford Haven and Miss June French, the London waitress, have abandoned their attempts to swim the Channel owing to the coldness of the sea
2 September 1931 – Hull Daily Mail

Miss June French, the Lyons girl, who had to abandon her attempt to swim the Channel owing to bad weather conditions and the low temperature of the water, has returned to London and will resume her duties today as a ‘Nippy’ in one of the firm’s City teashops
3 September 1931 – Western Morning News

The Marshall-street Baths, W., on Wednesday evening. The demonstrators were Miss June French, the ” Nippy ” who was prevented by bad weather from attempting the Channel swim this summer, and Mr. Jabez Wolfe, the well-known swimmer, who trained her.
10 October 1931 – West Middlesex Gazette

Miss June French, the waitress, who trained for the Channel last summer, is not going to make the attempt this year.
8 August 1932 – Hull Daily Mail

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