The tall Texan who saved the day in Rochdale
Jimmy Cricket has recalled the story about a Texan who came to the rescue in an English town.
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.
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.
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.