Hilda Marjorie James (27 April 1904 – 27 July 1982) was a British competitive swimmer who competed at the 1920 Summer Olympics. James won a silver medal in the women’s 4×100-metre freestyle relay and swam in semi-finals of the 300-metre freestyle event.
Born Garston near Liverpool, daughter of John James, auxiliary postman & master window cleaner, and Gertrude Acton (married 1902)
In September 1925 she gave up her amateur status to take the position of swim instructor for Cunard aboard their liner Carinthia (she was issued her merchant seaman’s ticket on 22/9/1925). In March 1927 it was announced that her job had been taken by Hilda Dand, plunge-pool champion, as Miss James had resigned to train for an attempt on the Channel
In July 1927 “Hilda James of Liverpool, swimming champion of Britain, swim instructor on Cunard liner Carinthia” is listed as one of the many aspirants waiting at Gris Nez to make an attempt
The Sunday Post 7/8/1927 lists swimmers waiting at the ‘swimmers HQ’ at Cap Griz Nez:- Mercedes Gleitze, Hilda Harding, Ivy Hawke, Millie Hudson, Hilda James and C.M. Jeans and late arrivals Jane Darwin (Marriott), Dolly Savory, Mrs Weidman and Mona MacLennan. Based in Dover are Mrs Corson, A.J. Luscombe and Helmi
She made no attempt in the 1927 season
In November 1927 she announced she would return to Dover in the 1928 season and swim the Channel. There is no record of her coming to the coast let alone making an attempt in 1928
In 1930 she married William McAllister, assistant wireless superintendent for Cunard on the Carinthia, and they had one child, Donald Hugh McAllister. She worked as swimming instructress for the Parkgate Baths, Parkgate, Cheshire