Luscombe, Harry

There is some confusion as to his identity. Usually called Harry Luscombe – there are a few references in the press to ‘A. J. Luscombe of Topsham, Exeter, partially crippled’ and one reference to ‘Arthur J. Luscombe’. However the Luscombe family of Topsham identify Harry the swimmer as being Henry W. Luscombe

Henry Wannel Luscombe, born 1894 in Topsham, Devon, son of a Topsham grocer. Apprenticed as a tailor and became a master tailor in Topsham, then Exeter. Died 24/11/1964 Exeter

He made an attempt on the Channel on 7 Aug 1927 from France to England. Another on 11 August 1928 from England to France. He is listed in some papers as in Dover by 28 August 1929 when it is stated he hoped to win the Dover Gold Cup, but no attempt is recorded. Often referred to as ‘crippled’ or ‘partially crippled’ or that he had a withered leg, he actually broke his ankle when a child which wasn’t set properly and left him with a limp. Some American papers refer to him as one-legged (which his trainer certainly was)

The latest arrival among the Channel swimmers at Dover, is the stone aspirant from Exeter, Mr. H. Luscombe, arrived Dover Sunday afternoon, and is staying at the Central Hotel. Mr. Luscombe is financed by public subscription in Devon, and…there are only enough funds to make one attempt…He is trained by the one-legged swimmer Mr. A.L. Matthews, and Mr. W. Carter is his masseur. Mr Luscombe is a cousin of Pym, the football international goalkeeper
05 August 1927 – Dover Express

CRIPPLE TO TRY CHANNEL SWIM. Mr, A. J. Luscombe arrived at Dover yesterday in preparation for attempt to swim the Channel. He is the champion swimmer of Exeter, although he broke his ankle when he was a boy and is now a cripple. Mr. Luscombe’s trainer is Mr. A. Matthews, the champion one-legged swimmer of England
02 August 1927 – Leeds Mercury

One-legged man will tackle Channel feat:
Dover…the arrival of Arthur J. Luscombe, a 32 year-old one-legged amateur swimmer…
Anaconda Standard 06 October 1927

Swims by Luscombe, Harry

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