Captain Matthew Webb
(19 January 1848 - 24 July 1883) was the first recorded person to swim the English Channel without the use of artificial aids. On 25 August 1875 he swam from Dover to Calais in less than 22 hours. John Betjeman's poem A Shropshire Lad
(1940) commemorates the death of Captain Webb, portraying his ghost swimming back along the canal to Dawley
This delightful poem has been put to music and recorded by John Kirkpatrick
. A great favourite of Tyneside Maritime Chorus
and their leader Benny Graham
who is also a canal enthusiast.
This song may be found in the Tyneside Maritime Chorus songbook