Musical about Victoria Cross hero set for Remembrance Sunday
Jimmy Cricket’s musical about Northern Ireland’s only recipient of the Victoria Cross takes place on Remembrance Sunday.
Let’s hear it for the wee man will be performed at Rochdale Town Hall on 10 November in aid of the Mayor of Rochdale’s charity appeal.
It tells the courageous story of submariner James Magennis 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.
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 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.
Jimmy and the mayor met up recently to promote the play.
Rochdale Council tweeted: “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 event.”