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Hesketh Rectory
Hesketh Bank
September 1945

My dear Friends,
I am writing this note to you on the day after the news of Japan’s surrender came through, from the Prime Minister, at precisely midnight August 14th 1945. About an hour afterwards our own Church Bell rang out the news to the parish.
So the war is actually over. Thanks be to GOD! I cannot speak for the thoughts of others, but I can hazard a guess that our thoughts went out to you in the Far East, and to your splendid endurance, to the prisoners of war and all those interned in Japanese hands. When we think of what might have been, our hearts must be filled with a very humble thankfulness for God’s great mercy towards us. There is a verse in one of St. Paul’s Letters (2 Corinthians, 1.10.) when he speaks of “GOD, Who delivered us from so great a death and doth deliver, in Whom we trust that He will yet deliver us.”
He has been merciful to us in the past, and we must surely believe that He will not desert us in the future. But that does not mean that the Peace, which has not yet really come, will just drop into our laps because we trust in Him.
The more we trust in God, the more we shall have to strive and work for that Peace. We have been SAVED TO SERVE. The ending of the war against Germany and Japan must be the beginning of the war against the world, the flesh and the devil in our own lives.
Yours very sincerely,

Thomas Bond (Aug.8) is now 20 miles S.E. of Bremen at a small town called Harpstedt (this is for Wm. Ainscough’s information). He considers George Taylor a lucky chap being stationed so near to Henschede. Tom sends his congratulations to Herbert Wignall on his engagement to Miss Wright. He thinks he will just about manage to beat Tom in the marriage race. Tom reports from his section that the Germans are doing well with the corn etc. They all turn out to do the jobs, many women loading the corn on the lorries with a couple of bullocks pulling the contraption. Sometimes they see a horse and bullock together.
Bob Iddon (H.M.S. Mosquito. Aug.3) is back again in Alexandria for refitting (his ship!) He hopes to see us in a few weeks time, so he will not now tell us about the flies, and the smell and the thieves.
George Taylor (B.L.A. Aug 4) also looks forward to his leave in September. He and his little lot are taking things easily at present, with plenty of sport to pass the time away. He sends greetings to Gordon Iddon, Martin Wright, Herbert Wignall and Albert Taylor, and he wishes Malcolm Taylor lots of luck wherever he may be going, and to ‘look after himself’.
Bert Checkley (July 25) writes to us from his mother’s home in Station Road, particularly to thank the committee of the Bowling Club, the Comforts Fund, and all who have been responsible for doing such good work for the troops, and for the gifts of money. After being two years a prisoner of war in Japanese hands he is at last able to read all the old N.Ls which his mother kept for him. He wishes to be remembered to all the boys from the village, especially Ronnie Whiteside, whom he probably will have ‘contacted’ before this.
Ronnie Whiteside’s letter dated May 30th has arrived only recently, but he himself has arrived back home early in August.
John Coulton (Newarth) writes from a naval hospital in Scotland (July 30) We sympathise with John in his ’lengthy hospital history’ and send him our best wishes that he may be restored to health. We conclude from his letter that he will be invalided out of the service, and at any rate his next job will not be on board any ship.
Harry Hoyle (Aug. 5) writes from Plymouth where he is on short leave with his Canadian wife. He sends his remembrances to John Jackson, Harold Cookson and all the Home Guard, not forgetting the old L.D.V.days.
Barbara Coupe (near Leeds Aug.8) writes that she is looking forward to the demobbing of group 47. She has been in this Leeds ‘station’ over two years, so that she is now almost ‘Yorkshire’.
Sam Iddon (C.M.F. Aug.8) writes from Caserta. He seems to be enjoying himself with cricket and in the water and at the Pictures so as he says, there is no need to be in the dumps while waiting patiently for his return home. He hopes to be home by the end of November and demobbed. He takes note of all Hesketh Bank doings, and sends his congratulations to the Bowling Club for being top of the Asland league. He has a special note for ‘Bill’ (Cookson?) about the Victory Cup, and wants him to let him know who is the Victor on 25th August. Sam thinks the August number is the best N.L. that has reached him. He thinks that £150 from the Musical Festival to the welcome Home Fund is splendid. He also notes the Church’s 20th Anniversary in 1946, which he himself

n.b. the remaining pages of this newsletter are missing.
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