The MrT Podcast Studio

The MrT Podcast Studio

TH2023 Ep11 02 Max Miller

April 12, 2024

Season 2023 - Talk 11.02 - Max Miller

In 'Max Miller' Adrian Martin tells us the life story of the music hall comedian billed as the 'Cheeky Chappie'. You'll appreciate from that billing that his humour is not always politically correct. Indeed it could be described as 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink... you know what I mean' humour. There are a couple of examples in this talk.
Early Life?
He is born born as Thomas Henry Sargent in November 1894 in Kemptown, a part of  Brighton.  His father is a labourer and his mother a flower seller. There are six children including Thomas and his parents are poor.

Often unable to pay rent they move frequently and he attends a number of schools. He leaves school at the age of 12.

He tries his hand at labouring, delivering milk, selling fish and chips, caddying at the Brighton and Hove Golf Course, and trains to be a motor mechanic.
World War 1
On the outbreak of war in 1914 he volunteers for the army and joins the Royal Sussex Regiment . He serves in France, India and  Mesopotamia, where he suffers temporary blindness for three days. This experience stays with him all his life.
When he leaves the army work is short supply, and his mother has died in the 1918 flu pandemic. He gets a booking at the Shoreditch Hall in 1919 but only lasts a week because of his inexperience.

Miller returns to Brighton and sees an advertisement for artists to join Jack Sheppard's concert party in an alfresco theatre on Brighton beach. He joins as a light comedian for the 1919 summer season. His future wife, Frances Kathleen Marsh, is a contralto in the group.

Kathleen is from a middle-class family and her elder brother serves as a Brighton alderman for 43 years, becoming mayor  from 1949 to 1950.

It is Kathleen, an astute businesswoman, who suggests  that he should change his name to Max Miller.

Listen to Adrian tell the full story.

This is an edited recording of a talk given to the Farnham u3a World History  Group . Sadly in a few places there is slight distortion on the recording.

It is not possible to use the images presented in the original talk because of copyright reasons.

This podcast is also available through Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts,  Castbox, Deezer, Podchaser, Spotify, Stitcher and Vurbl and others.

AKM Music licenses Media Magazine for use the music in this talk.

© The MrT Podcast Studio and Farnham u3a World History Group 2018 - 2024