Allan Auxilly


William Robinson Clarke

‘Man of many talents who made his mark in Lancs’

1923 - 1989

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Jamaican-born Allan Auxilly was a talented sportsman and a well-known entertainer in the northwest of England, where he settled after arriving on the Empire Windrush.

He began performing while serving in the RAF during the Second World War, when he regularly sang with the base’s band. He would go on to become a popular cabaret singer in the pubs and clubs of Lancashire and beyond, often accompanied by a rhumba band. He was so good, the Heywood Advertiser of October 8, 1971, likened him to Nat King Cole.

On the sporting front, he was a member of the West Pennine Cycling Club based in Bury and in 1951 formed the ‘Heywood Wheelers’. At its first annual dinner in 1952, Allan was awarded a trophy for achieving the season’s fastest time in the 10-mile trials.

He was also a keen cricketer and played as a wicketkeeper for Castleton Moor Cricket Club and Castleton Methodists in the Rochdale Amateur Cricket League. A true all-rounder when it came to sport, he represented Grundy Swimming Club at water polo.

Allan Anthony Auxilly was born on February 8, 1923. His father, Joshua, was a draughtsman. Allan enlisted into the RAF in Kingston on September 27, 1944, and was part of a contingent of West Indian volunteers who arrived in England in November 1944. He was initially posted to RAF Hunmanby Moor near

Filey in Yorkshire for training before being sent to an RAF base in Lancashire.

After doing the rounds, his final stint of duty was at RAF Strubby in Lincolnshire.

While he was in Lancashire, Allan met his first wife, Margaret Higson. The couple married in Heywood in October 1945 and had a daughter. When Allan was demobbed, from the RAF, he returned to Jamaica before coming back on the Windrush to be reunited with his young family. The couple later had a son.

The Windrush passenger list shows Allan’s occupation as a mechanic and he found employment immediately, working as a fitter for local firm Ames Crosta Mills. While the sporting and singing elements of his life were glamorous, his day job was less so – the firm specialised in the manufacture of sewage purification machinery.

Cartilage problems meant that Allan had to give up cycling. This forced inactivity allowed him more time to watch sports and he became a keen follower of Manchester City Football Club.

Allan’s marriage to Margaret ended in divorce. In December 1972, he married Jenny Hantke in Rochdale and they had four daughters. Allan was 66 when he died in Heywood, Lancashire, on December 28, 1989.

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