Louis Earl Timson was born in 1890 in Swampscott, Massachusetts, to Charles Timson, a shoe cutter. His mother’s family were Canadian English. The family moved to Lynn, Massachusetts, in the eary 1900’s, where Louis followed in his father’s profession as a shoe maker. In 1913 he married Eunice Tripp at Lynn.
He later claimed that during the 1st World War he served in the French army, including at Verdun with the 63rd Division 2nd French Army, was awarded the Croix de Guerre, and then joined the US army when they arrived in France. This is a little garbled; in fact records show he never left the USA until 16th June 1917, having joined the French-run American Field Service at Lynn as an ambulance driver and sailed from New York for France, where he served with S.S.U. 13. After 3 months he was transferred to the American Ambulance Service. There is no record of him receiving the Croix de Guerre, although when the war ended he was in hospital recovering from wounds.
After the war he became a partner in a shoe manufactory in Lynn
Louis Timson was chosen by the American Legion as their representative to attempt a swim across the English Channel, paying all his expenses. He landed at Liverpool on July 26th 1926 on Cunard’s ‘Scythia’
He only made one attempt himself but was pacemaker for several other swimmers, including the successes of Ederle, Corson and Derham
He returned to the USA on 18th September 1926, sailing from Southampton on the Mauretania
He had intended to try again in the 1927 season but a serious motor car accident in January 1927 left him badly injured and recovering.
He retired to Florida in 1950 and died in 1980 in Stuart, Fla., where he had lived since 1970