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Remembrance Day

The tall Texan who saved the day in Rochdale 150 150 mhamer

The tall Texan who saved the day in Rochdale

My Feb @leponline column folks, here I tell how at the very last minute, the Texan @AndrewJBoyer with his great voice, saved the Remembrance Day Concert at the Rochdale Town Hall for me and my fellow performers, which was in aid of the Lord Mayor, Billy Sherrin's Charities!

Jimmy Cricket has recalled the story about a Texan who came to the rescue in an English town.

Let’s hear it for the wee man is a musical which Jimmy created a few years ago.
It is about Northern Ireland’s only recipient of the Victoria Cross, submariner James Magennis.
The musical was performed in front of 300 people in aid of the Mayor of Rochdale’s charity appeal on Remembrance Day last year.
However, as Jimmy recounts in his latest Lancashire Post column, a week before the event, the singer playing the title role pulled out.
So Jimmy and wife May frantically began looking for a replacement and even put a plea out on social media channel Facebook.
And just a few days before the concert at Rochdale Town Hall, a Texan called Andrew J Boyer called them.
Andrew J Boyer will play war hero Jim Magennis in Jimmy Cricket's musical at Rochdale Town Hall on Remembrance SundayAndrew (pictured left) is a 24-year-old piano-vocalist from Dallas who had just moved to Salford.
He has been a performer for almost a decade, and sings and plays the piano from time to time on cruise ships.

The musical tells the courageous story of Magennis who joined the Royal Navy aged 15.

He won the UK’s highest military honour for his bravery onboard a midget sub that attacked the Japanese cruiser Takao on 31 July 1945.

His job was to attach six mines to the enemy vessel in the risky covert operation in Singapore Harbour.

Jimmy and @RochdaleMayor Coun Billy Sheerin having a good old yarn about the James Magennis play

Jimmy with Bill Sherrin, the Mayor of Rochdale

However, he ran into difficulties and faced grave danger.

But he persisted with the mission before returning to the sub exhausted.

King George VI recognised his heroics by awarding him the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry.

Magennis continued his service until 1949 when he returned home with his wife Edna Skidmore and their four sons.

In 1952, he lost his job and was forced to sell his VC medal.

However, an anonymous benefactor later returned it to him on the condition he did not sell it again.

Blue plaque

Magennis spent the rest of his life in Yorkshire working as an electrician before dying of cancer in 1986 aged 66.

His heroics were commemorated in 2018 with a special blue plaque in his honour.

Belfast-born Jimmy, who has lived in Rochdale for many years, wrote both the words and the music for the play.

It also featured actor Charles Lawson, actress and singer Sue Devaney and comedian Jimmy himself.

Find out where Jimmy is performing and his other forthcoming shows by viewing all his tour dates on this website.
Armed Forces veterans breakfast with Mayor of Rochdale 150 150 mhamer

Armed Forces veterans breakfast with Mayor of Rochdale

Wonderful breakfast this morning with Billy the Mayor, his Secretary Dorothy, at the, “Veterans Breakfast”, sharing the forthcoming event at the Town Hall which is on Remembrance Sunday, 10th November to raise funds for local Charities!

Jimmy Cricket enjoyed breakfast with the Mayor of Rochdale and veterans of the Armed Forces.
The famous comedian attended the weekly event at Rochdale Town Hall in his adopted hometown last Thursday (10 October).
He will be back there next month with his musical, Let’s hear it for the wee man.
The performance takes place at the town hall on Sunday 10 November in aid of the Mayor of Rochdale’s charity appeal.
He tweeted afterwards: “Wonderful breakfast this morning with Billy the Mayor, his Secretary Dorothy, at the, “Veterans Breakfast”, sharing the forthcoming event at the Town Hall which is on Remembrance Sunday, 10th November to raise funds for local Charities!🎭
Come here, come here! We were bowled over by the legendary Jimmy Cricket promoting his brilliant new concert, to be performed at Rochdale Town Hall on Sun 10 Nov, 4pm-5pm. And there’s more! Here’s Jimmy and @RochdaleMayor Coun Billy Sheerin having a good old yarn about the James Magennis play

The musical is about Northern Ireland’s only recipient of the Victoria Cross, James Magennis.

It tells the courageous story of the submariner who grew up in abject poverty in Belfast and joined the Royal Navy aged 15.

He won the UK’s highest military honour for his bravery onboard a midget sub that attacked the Japanese cruiser Takao on 31 July 1945.

His job was to attach six mines to the enemy vessel in the risky covert operation in Singapore Harbour.

Jimmy and @RochdaleMayor Coun Billy Sheerin having a good old yarn about the James Magennis play

However, he ran into difficulties and faced grave danger.

But he persisted with the mission before returning to the sub exhausted.

King George VI recognised his heroics by awarding him the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry.

Magennis continued his service until 1949 when he returned home with his wife Edna Skidmore and their four sons.

In 1952, he lost his job and was forced to sell his VC medal.

However, an anonymous benefactor later returned it to him on the condition he did not sell it again.

Blue plaque

Magennis spent the rest of his life in Yorkshire working as an electrician before dying of cancer in 1986 aged 66.

His heroics were commemorated in 2018 with a special blue plaque in his honour.

Belfast-born Jimmy has written both the words and the music for the play.

It features actor Charles Lawson, actress and singer Sue Devaney, actor Nick Newbould and comedian Jimmy himself.

Tickets are available at Rochdale Town Hall from the reception or by contacting 01706 924773. Tickets cost £10.

Read more about the Mayor of Rochdale’s charity appeal here.

Jimmy and the mayor met up recently (photo above right) to promote the play. Go here to watch the video.

Find out where Jimmy is performing and his other forthcoming shows by viewing all his tour dates on this website.
Attending the Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate 150 150 mhamer

Attending the Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate

Here attending, “The Last Post at the Menin Gate”, tribute to all those who lost their lives in the 155 war cemeteries which now surround modern-day Ypres!

Jimmy Cricket paid tribute to the war dead recently with a visit to a famous European memorial.

The well-known Northern Irish entertainer attended the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium.

The gate has historically been a crossing point over the moat and through the ramparts of the old town fortifications, on the road to the nearby town of Menin.

It had a special significance for Allied troops during World War I as it was from this place that thousands of soldiers set off for the part of the Front called the Ypres Salient – with many of them destined never to return.

The new Menin Gate was built on the same site in the form of a Roman triumphal arch  (see photo below) and was opened in July 1927 when the Last Post was played by buglers from the Somerset Light Infantry.

Since 1928, buglers from the Last Post Association have been playing the Last Post at the Menin Gate every night at 8pm. Only during World War II was the ceremony interrupted.

In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day’s activities and is also sounded at military funerals to indicate that the soldier has gone to his/her final rest and at commemorative services such as Remembrance Day.

The walls of the Menin Gate are engraved with the names of nearly 55,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers lost on the field of battle but with no known graves.

Jimmy posted on social media: “Here attending, “The Last Post at the Menin Gate”, tribute to all those who lost their lives in the 155 war cemeteries which now surround modern-day Ypres!”

Here attending, “The Last Post at the Menin Gate”, tribute to all those who lost their lives in the 155 war cemeteries which now surround modern-day Ypres!