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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
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World War II newsletter
April 15th 1941

My dear lads,
As you will see I have had quite a lot of letters this week. I am very pleased to receive them for it does give you all some little opportunity of keeping in touch with your old friends and to know something of what they are doing. There are, however some - very few I must admit - who never write. Yet I am sure that these like to receive the News Letter and read about their village friends. And without these extracts the N.L. would be very tame. The N.L. is sent free every week to all the lads away wherever they may be. Might I ask you to regard your letters to me as your contribution towards its production? If you only write once a month it would help although, of course, I like to get letters more frequently. May I then look forward to letters from those who so far have not sent any, or who have not sent for a long time? While on this subject I should like to thank those many lads who have done me the courtesy of a call at the Rectory when on leave. I appreciate this little act of courtesy very much indeed. Also it does let me know that they are at home and so gives me just another line for the N.L. although, of course, in this small village, I know when a lad has come home almost as soon as his mother or wife does. Changes of address will occur very frequently now things are on the move so be sure and notify me so that your N.L. can be sent to the new address. This will save a lot of bother for everyone. You will probably think that this is a sermon of a very different sort to the ones I usually give you, but never mind. With my best love and all my prayers for you all in the days that lie ahead,
Ever your affectionate friend, L. N. FORSE

Extracts from Letters.
Quite a batch of letters this week owing to the fact that last weeks N.L. was compiled two days earlier than usual in order that readers might get their Easter Message in good time. Aircraftsman Roger Watson is kept busy in a place where "there are no trees, trains or trams, and only two buses and the nearest town thirty miles away - 30 miles of desolation!" Goes on "We've no pictures, theatres, newspapers or wireless and electricity only arrived three weeks ago. No chairs or tables in the billets. Weather varies between boiling hot sunshine, snow and howling gales so rapidly that we don't know where we are". But he adds "The N. L. s are arriving quite regularly, and I do thank you for them." Received 10/- from Women' s Section, B.L. and thanks them for it. He is somewhere near the North Pole. Pte. Billy Parkinson, R.A.S.C. had a "close up" view of the King and Queen when they visited his camp. He was in the front row so saw them very plainly". Went to Church which was packed and a military band played the hymns. Has only a fortnight more before he finishes his training. Recruit Martha West, A. T. S. is at a Reception Depot, undergoing strenuous training. She promises the Rector a photo as soon as possible. Says the life is hard but she is determined to stick it. Aircraftsman Billy Sutton sends a photo with a very cheerful letter. Saw one of our night fighters bring down a Jerry bomber. Fighter gave him a couple of bursts and Jerry burst into flames. After flying about for five minutes he came down in a real death dive, and when he hit the ground the tanks burst and 'Gee' what a burst of flames shot up. The noise when he was in the dive was terrific. Gdsn Harry Crook says he went to see Tottenham v Arsenal and "the people there never bothered about the war, or forgot there was any at all.". Also adds "Believe me it is grand to see the spirit of the London people. They certainly deserve all the praise for the way they can take it." Wishes to be remembered to all the lads especially Bill Sutton, Hubert Tindsley, Ted Barnish and Frank Timperley, to whom he sends his deepest sympathy. Dvr. Bert Price reminds us that he left Tarleton to join up just a year ago on April 3rd. Had a chat with the Padre and gave him the Rector's kind regards which the Padre asked him to return, and as he (the Padre) is coming on leave next week the Rector hopes to see him. Says he hopes his brother Harry’s foot is now better. Adds "Our football team is still going strong and yesterday we had our revenge on the only Army team which had beaten us. We won 3 to 2, so you can see we did a bit of smiling, although it was one of the hardest and cleanest games we have had in the Army so far." Aircraftsman Wireless operator Robert Moss hopes to be home on April 14th. Had a "full day of snow” last-week, followed by big showers. Sends a very good photo to add to the Rector’s gallery. Hopes to call on the Rector when he gets his leave: Submarine Detector John Coulton (Hesketh Bank) writes "Perhaps you will be surprised to have a letter from me an utter stranger; but I have been getting your N.L. regularly". Says he has to thank Aunt Jane Rigby (Toll Bar) for this weekly information. Says he has just returned from leave which was quite unexpected. Adds "I arrived back to find I have been awarded the Palestine General Service Medal for service in the Mediterranean before the War. I also served in the patrols during the Spanish War landing refugees etc., although no one at home was interested in the Fighting Services at that time." Is sending the Rector a photo to add to the gallery. Aircraftsman Walter Rawsthorne is only three miles from Tom Rigby (Toll Bar). He came home for the week -end and on his return found himself landed twenty miles from his camp at midnight, hungry, cold and homeless. However he met a soldier who like the good Samaritan took him to his billet, gave him blankets from his own bed, and in the morning sent him on his way with a free breakfast. Says he likes the Service better every day. Trooper George West writes from a hospital in the South. Thought that the doctor was going to choke him on Friday when he put a rubber tube nearly a yard long down his throat and kept it there about 30 mins.. Says he is a bit better now. Wishes to be remembered to Jack Robinson, Tommy Burns, and all the other lads. Corporal Ernie Ball is now billeted in a racing Stables that cost £200,000 to build and situated in a wood full of pheasants as big as turkeys. Is keeping well and is as cheerful as ever.

On leave.
The following each for seven days;- Kenneth Robshaw, Ernie Nicholson, Harry Taylor, Jack Robinson, Tom Fazackerley, Stanley Johnson, Tom Burns, Jack Parker (Liverpool). Also Jimmy Swift (Burscough) for his wedding to Agnes Rigby, and Tom Rigby (Toll Bar) who was home just in time to attend his uncle's funeral. As we are writing this in walks Tommy Burns to say that Harry Price has just come home on convalescent leave. He will be coming round later. Tom Harrison also came home on Friday for his sister's wedding ,which was on Saturday and went back on Monday. William Fletcher, who used to live at Rufford and now resides in Blackgate Lane also home for seven days leave. The Rector did not know that the last named was even living in his Parish let alone in the Army, so he has received no N.L. We will call on his wife and get more particulars.

Local Talk.
Chief topic of conversation at beginning of week the German bomber which was shot down by one of our night fighters. As all the papers have now announced that it fell in flames on Banks marsh, we can say that it was so. One German occupant caught, all others killed. No material damage was done and no one was damaged by falling bombs and flares. Home Guard watched a pyrotechnic display over Th'edge o' Leet. Letter arrived last week from Johnny Hague, landed in an Arctic port from his ship which was sunk: Says he lost everything except what he was wearing. Is coming home straightway. Harry Price has been in hospital but is now out. Has rejoined his Unit but expects to get convalescent leave immediately. Church crowded for both weddings on Saturday. Peggy Harrison married to George Cryer at 2.15. Reception afterwards at C. E. Schools. Agnes Rigby married to James Swift at 3.15. Reception in the Methodist School. Rector looked in at both these functions. Between them they entertained over 300 guests. Home Guard have had three days “Leave“, which merely consisted of no parades. The Guard was on duty each night as usual. Easter Day was well kept by Tarleton Churchpeople; over 400 Communicants at early Services. David Hanson (Kearsley Ave) joins the R. A. F. on Wednesday as a volunteer. Major General Carton de Wiart, V. C.,who has been reported as having fallen into the hands of the enemy while on his way to the Middle East, was, in the last war, attached for same time to the Rector's Battalion. He was then a Captain and a very fine soldier; and had already lost his left eye and his left arm in the war, but he could still ride a horse with anyone. Richard Dawson of Hundred End was killed last week by his horse while carting manure. It shied at Fred Brockley's motor wagon.

Rufford News
Mr. Bert Marsden supplies us with the following Rufford News:-
Jack Griffin, R. A. F. home on leave for seven days. His brother Bill came home on leave at the same time. Raymond Caunce M.G.C. has left the Bishop's Palace in which he was billeted and has gone north. Bob Townsley R. A. is now driving an army lorry and says he likes it better than footslogging, sends kind regards to Tarleton lads. Bert adds "No christenings, no weddings, no funerals and nobody come into a fortune. We are sorry to hear that Corpl. Jack Bourn has been in hospital and hope that he is now better and out and about again.


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