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World War II newsletter
October 2nd 1940

My dear Lads,
With so many of you away from the village I am beginning to feel very lonely indeed. The Rectory does not seem the same place without one or other of you opening the door to see if I am in. However, I have found some compensation in my work with the Home Guard. I never miss a night without visiting one or other of the Guard Rooms and spending a couple of hours with those on duty. This, as you can well imagine I thoroughly enjoy; but I shall, indeed, be glad when the war is over and I have you all once more around me. May God keep you safe both in Soul and body and bless you all. Here is a nice little prayer to say every night before going to sleep. I always say it myself :-

Holy Father, in Thy mercy
Hear our anxious prayer,
Keep our loved ones, now far absent, 'Neath Thy care.
With all my love,


Extracts from Letters.
L/Cpl. Jimmy Leacy sends his photo with the words "It is the best I can do without trying to improve on nature", which would take some doing. Wishes us to say "Thank you" to the Mere Brow children for their gift. Marine Kenneth Nicholson is waiting to be posted to a ship. Wants the Rector's telephone No.? here it is: 230 Hesketh Bank. Saw 31 German planes shot down at tea time, so enjoyed a good meal, sends a joke which is printed elsewhere and asks Rector to express his thanks to all who were so kind to him when home on recent leave. Sapper George Barker (Hoole) writes to say that his mates sometimes, show him the N.L. and he enjoys it. He will be placed on our mailing list, his football team includes Jack Gidlow from Hoole and Jeff Haydock from Leyland, would like to play Jack Robinson's team. Roger Watson (Moss Lane) is now in his fourth week of a flight mechanic's course, finds it different to life at Liverpool University, but likes it. Writes a good long cheerful letter. Pte. Hubert Tindsley writes from the Gold Coast, went to Native Church on Sunday, everyone native, even preacher, and organ, which had been built by one native and sounded like mouth organ, interested to find them use C. of E. Prayer Book Service and Methodist Hymn Book, sends best wishes to all Tarleton friends. L/Cpl. Ernie Ball saw an aeroplane crash within 100 yards from his barracks, also saw a big Junker on show in nearby market town. A/C Bert Barron has found A/C Ashcroft from Rufford in a nearby aerodrome and is also near John Rowland and Billy Benjamin although he has not seen them yet. Says he hears each week from Frank Timperley and adds, "Jerry has completely forgotten us". Sigmn. Thomas Fazackerley sends his photo and thanks Mere Brow children for their gifts. Says he had a tooth pulled out by a big bloke who nearly pulled his head off, is keeping well and fit. William Ball (Hesketh Bank) has arrived in a home port and got all his N.L.s together; expects to be home on leave this week; wishes to be remembered to Jack Robinson; says all is quiet on board. Gdsmn. Aubrey Smith (Longridge) is now in barracks four miles from the Rector's home village; is probably going into the Motor Transport section, expects to be home on leave in a month's time.

Prize Joke.
This week's 2/6d goes to Marine Kenneth Nicholson for the following:-
Doctor: And what makes you think that you have lost weight in the service, my man?
Seaman: Well sir, a month ago I had a first class Battleship tattooed on my chest and now it is only a Light Cruiser:

Harvest Thanksgiving services are being or have been held in the following places on the following dates: Tarleton Parish Church last Sunday, large numbers at early Communions, full congregations morning and afternoon, packed Church at night. Tarleton Methodists next Sunday. Chapel Road (H.B.) Oct. 6th. Hesketh Bank Parish Church Oct.13th. Hesketh Lane Methodists Oct. 20th. Mere Brow Sunday next.

Rufford News.
William McCloed home on seven days' leave; Ivor Jones is still in Ormskirk hospital, was at Dunkirk; Raymond Caunce and Thomas Hulton have joined up; the Home Guard are having a Parade Service in the Parish Church next Sunday afternoon.

Home Guard News.
Twenty two members went to a range on Saturday afternoon for shooting practice. Rapidly being fitted up with battle dress. Have now drawn some pay so feel like real soldiers.

On Leave.
Quite a number on leave this week: Edwin Crabtree, Tom Rigby (Toll Bar), Harry Latham, Charlie Wright (Mere Brow), Harry Price, Lt. Arthur Croft, Joe Wait, George West, all home for seven days. Billy Benjamin had two days at home when he was changing his billets. Engineer Johnny Hague still in a London port and hopes to get home before he sails again. Alice Fazackerley, Holmes, who is in the A.T.S. and serving in a N.A.A.F.I. at an aerodrome in the London area has also been home for seven days. Ken Robshaw and Roy Magee home for seven days.

Joined Up.
The following have joined up during the past week. Harry Rigby and Jimmy Parkinson in the R.A.F. Fred Forshaw in the R.A.S.C. stationed the Southern Command; Harry Harrison in Infantry; John Pickervance in R.A.F. and Robert Moss, Hesketh Lane in R.A.F. Gerrard Pendlebury joined up on Tuesday.

Courtesy Calls.
Nearly all the lads home on leave have done the Rector the honour of calling on him. He greatly appreciates this act of courtesy. He knows how very valuable is each minute of leave, for he served himself for five years, but he does like to see every lad on leave if only for a few minutes.

Odds and Ends.
May Johnson, Fermor Road married Francis Iddon on Monday. Mr. Hill, Plox Brow died very suddenly on Sunday. Mrs. Knight is giving the use of the Queen's Cinema for a show in aid of the British Legion (Women' s Section) Comforts Fund. Mr. Davies (Liverpool Assistant Master at Church Schools) has been called up. May come back for a few weeks in accordance with R.A.F. custom. All use of the Church Schools at night has been forbidden by police until the Blackout is made perfect.
Mrs. Bamford has left the Council School. Thomas Coulton (Mere Brow), is in a Liverpool hospital suffering from breakdown. The Rector is preaching at a Home Guard Parade Service next Sunday at Longton. So far no more news has come to hand about Trevor Adams.

Prayer and Hymn combined.
To Thee our God we fly
For mercy and for grace;
0 hear our lowly cry
and hide not Thou Thy face.
0 Lord, stretch forth Thy mighty hand,
And guard and bless our Fatherland.


Prepared for web viewing by Mere Brow Local History Society