Willing, Mrs. Hilda
Mrs Hilda Willing swam from Shakespeare Beach on the 3rd September 1920 but did not get to France, finishing 6-8 miles from France after 10 hours 35 minutes (reported as 7h 44m in the Across the Straits Booklet).
Hilda was a war widow. Her husband was killed in 1916 at the Battle of Jutland, on Board the H.M.S. Indefatigable. She taught over 2000 ladies to swim.
Born Hilda Gertrude Peckham in Isle of Sheppey in 1890 to George and Sarah Peckham. George Peckham was a Chief Engine Room Artificer R.N. based at Chatham, where Hilda grew up. She married at Chatham to a Plymouth sailor, Samuel Sherwill Willing in 1912 and she moved to his home at Turnchapel, Plymouth. Samuel, born Turnchapel, Devon, 1889, was killed at the Battle of Jutland in 1916 and Hilda returned to Medway