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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
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World War II newsletter
March 4th 1941

My dear Lads,
This week, as you will see, I have had several more letters, and just as I am writing this, five more have come, but I must leave the extracts from these for next week as I have already done my extracts for this week.

Things are going on very much as usual here, and with Lent being on us all the dances etc, are closed down. However even Lent does not mean that we should go about with long faces for we are told to "rend our hearts and, not our garments". But I do hope, and pray, that each one of you will try to find time to give some attention to the more serious things of life. Might I suggest that you go more regularly to Church and certainly be more regular at Holy Communion. As I am never tired of saying a complete man with a strong and well nourished soul in a well nourished and strong body is the most joyous and happy being it is possible to conceive, for he knows both his spiritual and physical strength. When we start a new life or in fact anything new, we always have to give much thought to what we are setting out to do: Lent affords us six good weeks to think things out and to make a really good beginning. Well, this is more or less a serious letter, as you would expect from me as the first one I am writing this Lent, but you know me, and you know how anxious I am both for your bodily and spiritual welfare.
With my love and my Blessing
Ever your affectionate brother,

Extracts from Letters.
Very nice letter from Sigh. Tom Harrison full of news. He has moved and his lot took three days treking from one side of this island to the other. On the way slept in a Town Hall, a large College and in a deserted town. While the cook was away has been trying his hand at his job. Dvr. Dick Sephton, still chasing Musso's ice-cream merchants across the desert writes that he is now in a different country from the one from which he last wrote though still in the middle east. His letter dated Jan. 5th reached the Rector on March 3rd. Says he does not receive all the letters sent him but his mother sends him letters by air mail and sometimes cablegrams. But he still receives the N. L. but "although they are two or three months old when I receive them, I find them very interesting indeed and I look forward to them coming." Says he has written several letters to Corpl. Ernie Ball. Says he greatly enjoyed his Christmas dinner. Finishes "by looking at the N. L. you don't seem to have many young men left in Tarleton now. I will close now trusting you to remember me to all my mates." Corpl. Instructor Ernie Ball says that his O.C. said they had worked so hard that he would give them a day off. Is of the opinion that the 19's make far better soldiers than the 35's, and goes on "I think that most people will agree with me that the "cream" of the country was called up in the first 6 or 8 months of the war". Is anxious to know what his brother Sid has registered for R.A.M.C. John Parker (Liverpool) has again changed his address and says that he would like the Parish Magazine every month. The Rector knows the place where he is billeted very well indeed, but Jack says of it "this place is a bit of a mud bound dump." Says a couple of hundred sleep in double tier beds in one huge room. The Parish Church holds about 80 persons. Says the Rector of the place usually spends part of the evening with the lads in the N.A.A.F.I. Adds that he will have to borrow a bicycle to go to Holy Communion as the Church is more than a mile away. Adds as P. S. Bill Faulkner has been promoted to Sergeant. Dvr. Matt Sutton is taking a fitter course at a Technical College in a large city, and says all the tools and equipment are first class. Says "My billet here is just about the next best thing to being at home; we have every comfort and really good food". Adds what with his college training with civilian instructors and his excellent home from home "we hardly know that we are in the Army now". Saw Ernie Ball at the place where he did his Infantry training. Is sending his photograph when he has had it taken.

Local Talk.
The Banns of marriage between George Cryer and Peggy Harrison are to be called for the first time next Sunday. They are being married at Easter and will live at Caton. On Tuesday evening eight of our Home Guard are playing Bank Hall at Darts and the Rector is giving both teams a Hot-pot supper, The Ambulance brigade are being supplied with battle dress dyed blue. The Rector can now assure you that every item of the rhymes on "Gas" in last weeks issue is absolutely correct. He went to a Lecture in the Barracks on Saturday and the young Lieut. who was lecturing gave the same gases and the same smells to identify them and gave them all in the same order although he had never seen this rhyme. William Ascroft, (Higher Lane, Holmes) died on Monday, aged 67. Henry Cookson, Mere Brow, died on Monday, aged 83. Janie Waring, Chapel Road, Hesketh Bank had her 21st Birthday Party in H.B. School on Wednesday last. Tarleton Methodist young women raised £18 for their comforts fund at their Gipsy concert. The Committee of the British Legion Club have decided to open the club room all day for members of H.M Forces, and to reduce the charge for billiards to the same to 6d. per hour. This will apply to all lads home on leave as well as to any soldiers who may be billeted in the neighbourhood. Reading Room, Writing Room, supply of paper, darts and cards etc. will be free to all in uniform. Women's Section B. L. had a jumble sale on Saturday to raise money for the Comforts Fund. James Swift (L.A.C., R.A.F.) of Newburgh is to be married to Agnes Rigby at Easter; the Banns are to be called for the first time on Sunday. L/Cpl Nick Taylor has been promoted to the rank of Corporal in the Home Guard. Magazines for March are now ready and, if possible, will be sent with this issue, but we should appreciate it if those who receive Magazines direct from home as it would save quite a lot of overlapping. A few weeks ago we reported that Jimmy Burns who is in the middle east, had been in hospital. He has now had to go back to hospital to have his tonsils removed. As his letter was sent in January and has only just reached England we expect that he is now back with his Unit. On Saturday afternoon the ladies of the British Legion asked Miss Evelyn Webster to call at the Club room, and, after thanking her for the valuable work she is doing in sending out the Rector's News Letter every week, presented her with a very charming little dish as a mark of their appreciation. Mr. Wm. Ascroft and his son Donald are ploughing up the field behind Abram's Smithy in the village. They have bought a motor tractor, plough, harrow, etc.

On Leave
Sapper Ronnie Melling for 7 days. Gdsn. Corporal Nick Dewhurst for 7 days. Ralph Iddon, R.A.F. (Hesketh Bank) for 7 days,A.C.2 John Pickervance for short leave.

Ploughing Up
Nearly all Tarleton is now under the plough. Mr. Balshaw is ploughing up the low meadow field next to Lord Lilford's Cottages in Coe Lane. James Howard is ploughing the Rector's Glebe field behind the Rectory and almost everyone with a piece of land to spare is digging it up for Victory. So far we have not many land girls but what will happen when the 19's are called up remains to be seen.

Prayers in hymns.
Hymns can be songs of Praise, acts of worship and also acts of prayer. There are many such in the Hymn Book, but perhaps the best, or at any rate amongst the best is that well known one "Lead, kindly Light amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on.
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to chose and see my path; but now
Lead Thou me on.
I loved the garish day, and spite of fears,
Pride rules my will; remember not past years;
So long thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those Angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since and lost awhile."

This hymn used as a prayer is most suitable to say every evening and exemplifies very concisely what is meant by putting one's hand into the Hand of God and letting Him show us the way, for the way that God leads us along is bound to be the best.?


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