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World War II newsletter
December 17th 1940

My dear Lads,
First of all let me wish you a very happy Christmas. I look back upon several really enjoyable Christmasses when I was serving abroad, and there is no reason why we should not each one be happy at this season in spite of the war. But, of course, the very first thing to remember is that it is the earthly birthday of our Saviour, the very Prince of Peace. It is His Birthday and we shall only be making a mockery of the day unless we first of all remember Him on it. And we cannot remember Him in a better way than the one He Himself ordered when He said "Do This in remembrance of Me." That means of course that we should regard it as our first duty to be present at the Blessed Sacrament of Holy Communion. Then when we have paid due homage to Him whose Birthday we are keeping in the way that He himself has laid down we should consider ourselves quite at liberty to spend the rest of the day in other ways congenial to ourselves. And the very words "Holy Communion" mean what they say: for in this holy Sacrament we are in communion with God and also in communion with all our loved ones wherever they may be, whether on earth or in Paradise; for our Saviour has Said "Whosoever eateth my Flesh and drinketh my Blood dwelleth in Me and I in him." Thus in the Sacrament we all meet in the very Heart of Jesus; and where else would we meet on such a day?
With every blessing and good wish,
Ever your devoted friend,

Extracts from Letters.
Ronnie Sergeant writes from Scotland; says that the lads in his billet have hired a wireless set and it keeps them amused. Adds that his wife is going north to stay with him over Christmas; also says that he is driving all over Scotland on very slippery roads. Dvr. Robinson., now back from leave, says he was held up at the embarkation port owing to bad weather and has only just got back to camp, wishes to thank the ladies of Tarleton for the warm clothing; and says he had a great time when on leave - but it was too short. Corporal Ernie Ball sends a very nice Christ Card adorned with his Regimental Crest. Says he is down for leave from Dec. 31st for seven days. Received a nice collection of Birthday cards on Saturday (He shares Dec. 14th with H.M. THE KING) and adds that he sends best Christmas wishes to all his friends. Seaman William Ball (Hesketh Bank) sends a letter from the warmer spot he predicted in last week's N.L. Says the News Letter still reaches him at every port he touches. Spends most of his time sun-bathing and swimming in the pool aboard and has to sleep on the upper dock as it is too hot below. Says he thinks he may be near Hubert Tindsley and will keep an eye out for him, finishes with ,wishing all his Tarleton friends a happy Christmas. Dvr. Dick Sephton writes from Palestine and says he received the N.L. regularly out there although somewhat late. The last received was dated 8-8-40, but its contents are real news to him. Adds that he is getting used to the heat and says he wears topee and shorts. Has had a nice letter from Ernie Ball and wishes to be remembered to Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Ball, Mr. and Mrs. William Dandy, Bank Bridge, and also to their daughter Phyllis. Sends Christmas greetings to all his friends. His letter is dated 11-10-40. Gunner Harrison writes by the aid of storm lamps to say that he is still in his good billets and that Jerry has not worried his lot so much during the past few weeks. Says " the best parade from my point of view is the bath parade", also wishes to be remembered to his cousins Jimmy Latham and Harry Cookson. Trooper Barnish had returned from leave and says that just at present he is "knocking about the fitters' shop doing odd jobs." Says there is some talk about going abroad before Christmas, but also says that they are issuing special passes to any who would like to go to the 11.45 p.m. service at the Parish Church where he is billeted. Adds "I think its quite a sensible thing to do at Christmas time."

Local News.
Leave permitting L/cpl Fred Forshaw is to be married at Tarleton Parish Church on Boxing Day. Miss Harriet Cookson has died at Mere Brow aged 82 years. Mr. Albert Rawsthorne, Mount Pleasant, Sollom, is still in a Liverpool hospital. Mrs. Alice Thompson has returned home from Preston Infirmary. Harry Price is expected home for Christmas. Two of our machines piloted by Czechs made a forced landing at Banks. The pilots were scared stiff because they could not explain to the natives that they were not Hitlers invasion Army. However nothing drastic happened and the Southport Police soon put matters right. Thomas Edmondson, Sherbrook House, Moss Lane was killed by a shotgun while out "fleeting" on Hesketh Marsh on Friday afternoon. Inquest at Ormskirk recorded a verdict of "death from misadventure". Funeral today (Tuesday) at Hesketh Bank. The gift enclosed in this letter comes from Miss W. Alty's Bible Class. It is being sent only to lads from the Parish of Tarleton as lads from other parishes will doubtless be looked after in this respect by those from their own parish.

Our Double Number.
The Rector hopes that all the lads will like the extra pages to the N.L. this week. We thought that it would make it look a little more like Christmas to have a double number but it has taken us some time getting all the ingredients together.

Our Picture Gallery.
For Christmas the Rector is putting all the photographs he has received from the lads away, in the window sills of the Lady Chapel in Church. He has bought scores of excellent frames from Woolworth's and each photo appears in a separate frame. This will help to make Christmas far more homely and keep in our minds the family spirit.

Our Schools.
Mr. Peters, the Headmaster has arranged a big "do" for Wednesday afternoon. Every child is to bring something and the children are to have a big "breaking up" feed.

Our Schools..
Mr. Davies, the Liverpool assistant master at the Tarleton C.E. Schools has been called up. He left yesterday for the R.A.F. All the Schools in the Parish
are to be provided with air-raid shelters.

On Leave.
This week quite a number have had early Christmas leave. Harry Cookson for seven days, Frank Foster for seven Harley McKean for seven days, Nick Dewhurst for seven days, Harry Rigby for a few hours, Harry Cookson looked in as he was passing in his lorry.

Hoole News.
Alan Cook joins the Navy today (Tuesday); Jimmy Forshaw is on leave, and so is Tom Norris (Bretherton). Tommy Bretherton who is in the Navy, has been on leave, and John Coulton, Hesketh Bank, who is also in the Navy is on 20 days leave. His ship struck a mine and he is waiting for it to be repaired. Cyril Rawcliffe (Bretherton) is in hospital. At Hoole Home Guard Social on Monday last there was a Darts Competition. Sergeant Turner's picket were first with Corporal Reeve's picket second. Hoole W.V.S. is holding a Dance on Boxing Day in the Walmer Bridge Schools in aid of the Comforts Fund. For this Hoole news we are are indebted to Mrs. Rigby (Toll Bar).

Good Stories.
Quite a number of lads have written to say how much they liked the story about Sam Marsh shooting the Muscovy Duck that the Rector gave as a prize and which was won by John Taylor. We should much appreciate stories of real interest of things that happen to the lads away. Perhaps some may care to write to the Rector and he will put the most suitable in the N.L.

Why did the scuttle scuttle? Because it saw the kitchen sink.
What gave the window pain? Because it saw the window blind.


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