Lt J J A Casey, ex-9 DLI Officer who discovered Ken Dodd

Discussion in 'Durham Light Infantry' started by Cpl Hadaway, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. Cpl Hadaway

    Cpl Hadaway Active Member

    File under 'Not many people know that?' Not sure whether this is already common knowledge on here, but I was very surprised to discover the above while searching for something completely different.

    The soldier in question was Lt James Jeremiah Casey (1922-2011), the son of the comedian Jimmy James, who enlisted in the RAC in 1941 and who was later commissioned and served with 9 DLI from 1944.

    From D-Day to Ken Dodd, he seems to have had an amazing career both in and out of uniform. Here's a little of his Wikipedia entry

    James Casey (variety artist) - Wikipedia

    His most notable discoveries during his career at BBC Radio in Manchester, between 1954 and 1982, were the radio comedian Jimmy Clitheroe, the comedian Les Dawson, the comedian Ken Dodd, and the comedy double-act known professionally as Hinge and Bracket, each of whom he launched into a career in radio light entertainment with their own BBC series.

    His most successful series for BBC Radio was creating, producing and co-writing The Clitheroe Kid, starring the diminutive comic Jimmy Clitheroe, which ran continuously for sixteen years on the BBC Light Programme and BBC Radio 2, running from 1957 to 1972 inclusive, based on a chance meeting with Jimmy Clitheroe on a Variety bill in 1952.

    And here's some of the content summary for the long interview he did with the Imperial War War Museum, interviewed by Harry Moses, as part of their DLI Oral History project.

    ......Aspects of period as officer with 9th Bn Durham Light Infantry in GB, 1944: joined battalion near Southampton; march on beach; later liaison with tanks in action; camp in Nightingale Wood; story of father's visit; knowledge among troops of father; briefings for D-Day; boarding and crew of landing craft; attitude of troops to situation; enlivening boring lectures; relationship with troops; commanding of veterans; example of his leadership in an attack; problems with AWOL troops; NCOs in platoon; memories of Pierre Jordan; boarding of LCI; journey across channel. Aspects of operations as officer in 9th Bn Durham Light Infantry in North West Europe, 6/1944-5/1945: landing on beach; removal of waterproofs; scenes on beach; movement off beach; description of first casualty seen and casualties killed by blasts; first casualty in platoon. REEL 6 Continues: activities following landing; memories of Support Company Officer; memories of Lieutenant Colonel Woods; activities on Bayeaux Road; attitude of civilians; patrols sent out; role of fighting patrols; memories of Corporal who was bad on patrols; memories of Pierre Jordan on patrols; story of a patrol on a farm; communication on patrols; effect on nerves; movement along road; problems of terrain in the Bocage; turnover of troops; opinion that would be not killed; Colonel Woods's opinion of attack and brigadier's overruling; terrain and positions of companies; activities of A and B Companies; German positions; own involvement in battle; orders from Major Rumble; discovery of A and B Company positions; German tank crew; finding of B Company; return to platoon; activities of John Mogg; withdrawal and casualties; relief from Gloucester Regiment; tank support....

    He only gets a couple of brief mentions in the Harry Moses History of 9 DLI, The Gateshead Gurkhas: namely pages 314 and 341, while page 358 notes that he was Mentioned in Dispatches for his work as Carrier Platoon Commander.
    4jonboy, dbf and Steve Mac like this.

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