Mercedes Gleitze Famous Female Swimmer Fundraising Photo 1930s

Mercedes Gleitze Famous Female Swimmer Fundraising Photo 1930s

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  • Mercedes Gleitze Famous Female Swimmer Fundraising Photo 1930s


Mercedes Gleitze was an inspiration to many with her courageous swims. When she retired in 1932 she raised monies to house the homeless, succeeding in the establishment of a property in Leicester which was destroyed during the war.

She carried a Rolex on her famous vindication swim, and Rolex were quick to jump on the story and promote it.

Gus Taylor must surely have known her, and he helped Kathleen Thomas in the Bristol Channel crossing in 1927.

CONDITION REPORT: Corner and other creases/bumping. To back is publicity for the charity.

BACKGROUND: This is from the Gus Taylor collection. Augustus (Gus) Taylor was born in 1893 and became a keen sportsman. He swam for the Cardiff YMCA (1906) before joining the Penarth Swimming Club in 1909. In 1938 the South Wales Echo reported that he had played for Cardiff at Rugby in 1913/14 and there are also postcards of Llanishen RFC teams in 1910-1912.

The Great War interrupted his sporting career. He served with distinction in the Royal Field Artillery, 38th (Welsh) Divisional Artillery) and was twice decorated for bravery, being awarded the Military Medal and Bar and attained the rank of Sergeant, (3555 RFA)

He wrote regularly to his childhood sweetheart, Lillian Clara Penhorwood, and he married her in October 1918.

He captained Penarth SC First team in 1914, 1922 and 1925 before retiring in 1932, but not before being capped for Wales in 1921 and 1922. He became president of the Welsh Amateur Swimming Association, was a member of the Welsh International and Glamorgan County water-polo selection committee. He also refereed the Scotland-England match in 1936.

In other fields he was a member of Penarth Lodge 4113 and he was also chair of the British Legion Penarth Branch.

STOCKREF: SB01/05/20140815