Statue of Captain Matthew Webb, First English Channel Swimmer, Dover, Kent, UK

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Comments (9)

John Latter on April 25, 2007

A bust (statue) of Captain Matthew Webb who became the first (recorded) person to swim the English Channel (wikipedia entry) on August 25th, 1875. Located on the seafront between the Gateway Flats and the Promenade.

Also appears in the Panoramio Forum.

John Latter on October 30, 2007


These currently include the following but check the "Statue" tag for later additions:

Vice-Admiral Sir Bertram Home Ramsay - Co-ordinator of Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of predominately British and French troops from Dunkirk between May and June of 1940 (World War II)

Charles Stewart Rolls - Co-founder (with Sir Henry Royce) of Rolls Royce motor cars. Commemorating his non-stop flight across the English Channel and back on June 2nd, 1910.

Dover's War Memorial - Stands on the south-eastern side of the Town Hall and in front of Maison Dieu House.

Louis Bleriot Memorial - Located where Bleriot landed after making the first Channel flight by aeroplane on Sunday 25th July 1909

John Latter on March 19, 2009

Another statue on this part of Dover's seafront (Marine Parade) is Mr H.R. Phillips' statue of 'The Waiting Miner'.

John Latter on October 13, 2009

From the Wikipedia entry:

"In 1873 Webb was serving as captain of the steamship Emerald when he read an account of the failed attempt by J. B. Johnson to swim the English Channel.

He became inspired to try himself, and left his job to begin training, first at Lambeth Baths, then in the cold waters of the Thames and the English Channel.

On 12 August 1875 he made his first cross-Channel swimming attempt, but strong winds and poor sea conditions forced him to abandon the swim.

On 24 August 1875 he began a second swim by diving in from the Admiralty Pier at Dover. Backed by three chase boats and smeared in porpoise oil, he set off into the ebb tide at a steady breaststroke.

Despite stings from jellyfish and strong currents off Cap Gris Nez which prevented him reaching the shore for five hours, finally, after 21 hours and 45 minutes, he landed near Calais - the first successful cross-channel swim.

His zig-zag course across the Channel was over 39 miles (64 km) long."

John Latter / Jorolat

This is the Images of Dover website.

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John Latter on May 3, 2010

The Merchant Navy War Memorial was unveiled on Marine Parade in 2008 by Winston Spencer Churchill, grandson of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the World War II leader.

John Latter on November 29, 2010

Channel Swimming links:

Channel Swimming Association Ltd:

The 'CSA' is the Governing Body of Channel Swimming

The Official Channel Swimming Association Record Books list and detail all properly authenticated Swim attempts since 1875 to the present day. Since 1927, Cross-Channel Swims have been organised and regulated by the Channel Swimming Association and all Swims officially observed by its designated Officials are faithfully recorded.(CSA Enquiries).

Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation:

If you are interested in Channel Swimming or long distance open water swimming you are in the right place read on.

We are also here to help if you want to cross the English Channel by "other methods" such as rowing, canoeing, paddle boarding, etc. and need an escort pilot boat and crew to assist you. - See "Escort Boats" and the "General Information" keys in the panel on the left hand side of this page (also see the Standard Information Pack letter for 2011 onwards).

John Latter on November 15, 2012

Also see a photo of the complete memorial:

Bust of Captain Matthew Webb, First English Channel Swimmer, Dover

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 19, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX Optio 33LF
    • Taken on 2007/03/18 12:08:13
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/500)
    • Focal Length: 5.80mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.800
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash