Captain Webb Conquers the English Channel

25 Aug 2020  Tue

On 25th August 1875 at 10.41 on the morning of this day, 27-year-old Matthew Webb put his feet on the beach at Calais. With nearly 22 hours of difficult swim, Captain Webb had become the first person to swim across the Channel from England to France without artificial aids.

He made his first attempt on August 12, 1875, but was stymied by high winds and bad conditions. Unfazed, he tried again less than two weeks later. Trailed by a flotilla of three boats, entered the water near Dover’s Admiralty Pier.

Finally, after 21 hours and 45 minutes of swimming against the tide—the equivalent of 39 miles–he waded onto the beach at Calais at 10:40 a.m., the morning after he began his swim. His achievement was celebrated all over the world.

The above stamp is among the set of three stamps issued by Jersey Post in the year 1969. The stamps were issued with the denominations of 9 Jersey pennies, 4 Jersey pennies and 7½ Jersey pennies. The stamps depict the English Channel and the border of England and France along with the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

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