endurance swimming | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Celebrating the Amazing Swimming Career of Mercedes Gleitze

Mercedes Gleitze (1900-1981) was the first British woman to swim the English Channel, and the first person to swim the Straits of Gibraltar. In an amazing career that spanned the 1920s and 1930s, Mercedes captured the imagination of the British public and became a household name. Born to German parents in Brighton, Mercedes was one of three sisters. Skilled in languages, she moved to London where she worked as a secretary and stenographer. Whilst living in London she began swimming

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