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Final parting for journalist's wartime double-act

A former regional press reporter who formed a famous wartime double-act has finally parted company with his comedy sidekick.

Ventroloquist Walter Huntley, who went on to become associate editor of the Liverpool Daily Post helped keep Britain smiling during the war years with his lifesize dummy, ‘Gunner Jimmy Turner.’

Last year Walter wrote a book about their exploits entitled Dummy Bullets which was published to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the start of the war.

Now he has finally entrusted ‘Jimmy’ to the safe-keeping of the Imperial War Museum, ending a partnership that stretches back 70 years.

Walter joined the Territorials in 1939 with his dummy in a suitcase. The duo were soon boosting wartime morale as part of the Army’s official entertainment unit with shows that soon became legendary.

Jimmy has now been handed over to the London-based museum’s curator Alan Jeffreys.

Walter, 89, said: “Jimmy has been with me for 70 years so it was a very sad day. But he has gone to a good home where he can entertain the next generation.”