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Hesketh Rectory
Hesketh Bank
April 1944

My Dear Friends,
A Happy Easter to you all! As our Russian fellow-christians used to greet one another, "The Lord is Risen," and the other would answer, "He is risen indeed." May we hope that the old greeting may be revived right throughout the Country of that great people, and both our Countries be renewed in the Common Faith.
Appended are some thoughts on this most joyful season. Make them your very own.

Yours very sincerely

The Joy of Easter is the Joy of Certainty. Till that first Easter morning men had wondered wistfully what lay beyond death. That death should be the End made nonsense of life - so felt the wisest men - but yet there was no certainty. Men hoped for something beyond the grave - but hope was not enough on which to base the conduct of their lives. The need was certainty, and that Certainty was gloriously accomplished when Jesus, passing through the grave, and gate of death, triumphantly rose again, the Conqueror of Death and all its powers, and by His Rising brought Life and Immortality to light.

An Easter Prayer
Maker of all, to Thee we pray,
Fulfil in us Thy joy to-day;
When death assails, grant, Lord that we
May share Thy Easter Victory.

Worthwhile Advice
Let this be thy whole endeavour, this thy prayer, this thy desire: that thou mayest be stripped of all selfishness, and with entire simplicity follow JESUS only.

Low at His feet lay thy burden of carefulness,
High on His heart He will bear it for thee,
Comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,
Guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.

The Supreme Victory.
CHRIST is risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.

Bob Iddon received his Xmas NL on Feb.3rd. In his letter he puts us right about the great Karroo which is not mountains at all but a huge tract of wilderness: He has seen a herd of Springbok and some ostriches. As regards the deadly snakes, he has not seen any but when they go on watch they take precautions by wearing leather round their legs. In the place where he is being trained there is a beautiful swimming pool filled by the sea every day, with thousands of beautifully coloured fish. There is also a golf course where monkeys chatter on the green!
Jimmy Buck (March 11th) writes from Scarborough. He sends greetings to Harry Hoyle, Leslie and Fred Tiffin, and he congratulates R Fowler on becoming a father.
Ronald Whiteside (Italy Feb.1st) says it is not 'sunny' but 'snowy and rainy' Italy. He has visited a church where he saw a beautiful 'manger and oxen, and shepherds and the Holy Family' all carved out of coloured stone. Ronald has been in hospital with a septic arm. He wishes to be remembered to the Carr Brothers and Ted Baybutt, and he would like to have a letter from the last named.
J R Melling (Feb.9th) received the Jan. NL just before going abroad. He has also had a very welcome letter from his cousin William Melling, after a long silence. He wants to be specially remembered to Joe Eastham and to tell him that he hopes 'Joe will set foot on English soil once again in the near future.'
Strange that the next letter on our list is from Joe Eastham (Dec. 26. India) who received his November NL on Xmas morning, 'as good ' he says 'as any Xmas box.' The main thing about his Xmas was the marvellous dinner they had, chicken, duck and goose, plum pudding and fruit, and all this looking out to sea under a blazing sun. All round them are coconut palms, and the nuts straight off the tree are marvellous. He sends his warm thanks to Hesketh Bank for the NL and a lot else from kind friends.
John Bond (March 4th) writes to us for the first time, a very welcome page, to send very warm thanks for the NL. He has been on a mechanic's course at Grimsby and is now back in Yorkshire near Thirsk, six miles away, rather a lonely spot.
Cecil Cookson has not been long in writing from Yorkshire. He speaks warmly of his Padre, who was one of the last men to leave Jersey before the Germans marched in. He sends his remembrances to Peter Dawson and Stacey Gautrey.

Nine members of the Church in Hesketh Bank were confirmed by the Bishop of Blackburn at Tarleton on March 11th. Kenneth Iddon, Arthur Jackson, Jimmy Rimmer, Arthur Wignall, Mrs Mary Ashcroft (Jim's wife) Marjorie Bramwell, Florence Gautrey, Molly Iddon and Jean Wright.
Austin Barton and Samuel Long have been discharged from the Forces on medical grounds.
The Rector was very pleased with the visits to the Rectory from Matthew Forshaw and Joe Power and Sydney Cookson. Matthew has seen a lot of the world so far, so that his visit was a very interesting one. He also had an interesting talk with Peter Dawson and Leslie Tiffin during a recent Dance at the School.
Miss Dorothy Cookson has given the sum of £15, proceeds of a Whist Drive, to the Comforts Fund.
Nicholas Rimmer, the Brow, fractured his collar-bone while playing Rugby for his school team. He is getting along aright.

A young Ladies week-end was held on Feb.26th-27th.
At the Saturday Concert there were Negro Spirituals, Songs of the United Kingdom, and Biblical Tableaux. On the Sunday morning and evening the preacher was Miss Bevin BSc., of Southport. In the afternoon a Service of Song, entitled 'The Roll Call', was given by the Young Ladies Choir. President, Mrs T Johnson, Reader, Miss Jean Boston. The week-end made £45 for the new Organ Fund.
On Thursday, March 16th the Chapel Choir gave the Lancashire Sketch 'Owd and New', followed by a Concert. The proceeds were for the Comforts Fund. Mrs Jas. Ball was in charge in the unavoidable absence of Mr James Rimmer (through his son Nicholas' football accident.) The Rector looked in to thank the Chapel Choir on behalf of the Comforts Fund.

My dear Friends, particularly those of you who are across the sea, let me bring into your minds a picture that came to my mind while I was taking a stroll one evening in Hesketh Bank.
The moon was at the full, and, for the time of the year, the evening was warm. Stopping to rest for a short while at the end of the old road I looked on what I thought was the most peaceful and beautiful sight that I have seen for quite a long time. Nestling snugly amongst the trees, which I am sure must be centuries old, stood the old Church. As I leaned on the gate and looked down the gravel path which was carpeted by lovely crocuses; their colours easily distinguishable, my eyes rested on the Cross of granite standing like a sentinel in the moonlight. I thought for a while - yes, it was standing there as a symbol and as a memory of the brave sons of our little village who gave their all in the last war. Yet, as I turned my head in the direction whence came the drone of a solitary plane, I realised that on this same moonlight night we were again in the throes of a cruel war and as I turned my gaze towards the Church I saw the old bell which for countless years has rung out its merry ring into the hearts of the many happy bridal pairs who have traversed that same old gravel path, and on sadder days had sounded its mournful knoll for those who were carried up the same path to their last resting place.
As I stood there, entranced, I was awakened from my thoughts by the chirping of a disturbed bird nesting in its sacred home in the ivy wall of the Church. I realised that the hour was late and I must be on my way, but I paused to look round and I thought again, what better words could describe a perfect scene like this "a war weary world hushed by the stillness of a lovely moonlit night."

I know you will all be very sorry to hear that Mr Holmes our Platoon Commander has been compelled to relinquish his position owing to ill health. We (at home) all feel that it is extremely bad luck that he should have to give up now when it would appear that we are entering the last phase of the war, at least on the European Fronts. However, I know that all you Ex-Home guardsmen will join me in wishing him a speedy recovery; so that when hostilities have ceased we shall be able to have the often discussed Reunion, with him in the Chair.
I have received quite a number of letters recently from old No: 1 members, who are now in the forces, in connection with the issue of service chevrons, and I have passed on all their messages and good wishes as requested.
We have recently had our numbers increased in the Platoon and it is quite like the old 1940 days on Recruits Night, with the difference of course that they are fully equipped and don't have to queue up for a rifle.
All members of No: 1 Platoon send their best Wishes to the members of the forces from Hesketh Bank, and wish them the Best of Luck and a safe and speedy return, and may it be soon

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