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World War II newsletter
April 18th 1941

My dear Lads,
I have just arrived back after a twelve days tour of visits. I went South running through the western counties until I reached Gloucestershire, then I turned east running through Oxfordshire to London. Here I stayed a few days doing most of my visiting by train. I then picked up my car and ran through the eastern counties to Leicestershire, then turned west and so home. Although I paid a great number of visits I could not, of course, see even a quarter of the lads as they were billeted so far apart and there are now so many of them. Two or at the most three visits a day were the utmost I could do and even at three a day that only allowed thirty-six lads to be seen in the twelve days I could spare to be away. However I do hope to find time to visit those in the northern counties in the near future. But please do fill in the enclosed post-cards. I went half a day out of my course to find one lad only to be told that he had left that place nearly three weeks ago. Had I known this before I could have saved at least a gallon of petrol and endless time. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip and I think that all the lads I visited were pleased to see me and I made many new friends among their mates. One thing I found was that hitch-hiking is nothing like as common in the south as it is in the north. Every one seemed absolutely happy and contented. I am sorry to have missed one issue of the N.L. but I found it absolutely impossible to write it up while on my travels. With my love and any blessing,
Ever your affectionate brother,

Gdsn. Arthur Molyneux writes to say that he is sorry to have missed the Rector when he called upon him in the South last Sunday. He was taking a day off. Says he has not seen Gdsn Corporal Nick Dewhurst, although very close to him, nor has he seen L/cpl Harry Price who is equally near. AC2 Walter Rawsthorne writes says he is near Tom Rigby (Toll Bar) and they see each other frequently. Sent his laundry to a place that was blitzed and had it returned as black as soot and full of broken glass. Would like the address of William Ball (Moss Lane) . Has not been able to get any cigarettes lately. Sapper George Barker has moved to a place in the wilds of Scotland amongst the deer and pheasant. Says Norman Barron in same company is about 10 miles away and Jack Gidlow about 15 miles. Wishes to be remembered to all his Hoole and Tarleton friends, and hopes for embarcation leave in another week or so. Pte Ken Robshaw sends his new address and sends the bad news that his tent was burned down and he lost all his kit including his rifle. Is learning to be a drummer. Says he will be glad when they move and get back to civilisation. Sign. Thomas Fazackerley has found quite a number of Rufford folk where he is billeted and also a couple of very fine peacocks. They all know Mr. Jack Stazicker (Hesketh Lane) quite well. Says he had a short talk with Lord Hesketh the other day. Gunner Harry Harrison wishes to be remembered to Charlie Wright (Mere Brow), also to his brother-in-law Billy Benjamin and all his pals. Says he is right out in the wilds, the nearest "Town" is 3 1/2 miles away and only two buses to get to it and when they do get there it is only one street. Adds "We have seen Scotland - plenty of it." Pte Harry Cookson says he saw a good dog fight with the Jerries coming down in smoke. Is expecting leave in about a month when he promises to call on the Rector. Has now moved into billets which are not quite as nice as the ones he has left. Sign Tom Harrison has had to sleep out all night with a telephone at his side. Is in a place where they get some very bad raids. Sends his best wishes to his brother Bill and hopes that he is liking army life. Has been out on a "scheme" and it rained "cats and dogs" all the time. Sapper Dick Johnson sends a well censored letter from a ship. Says that Frank Foster is on board with him and hopes that they will be able to stick together. Says he is now well away from submarines and air attacks, has not been sea-sick, and enjoys the swimming pools on board. Says that with the rush of packing has mislaid the addresses of Tommy Burns and Noel Clark. Adds "I have never experienced anything so grand as this troopship, accommodation good, food the very best, and nothing to complain about. Finishes "I hope that the N.L. reaches me regularly as I can see it is going to be the only way of knowing how my pals are going on". Dvr. Tommy Burns says he went on manoeuvres and passed through the places where Jimmy Leacy and Dan Stazicker are billeted but did not see them. Turned cook for a few days and satisfied his pals who made no complaints. Says he thoroughly enjoyed his last leave and wishes through the N.L. to thank all his friends who made it so enjoyable.

Local News.
Rector returned on Thursday from his visit to the lads. He was away from the parish for twelve days. After the latest North West "blitz" the place was filled with evacuees. Schools were closed and used as rest centres. All Tarleton turned out to show hospitality to these unfortunate people. All is now back to normal. Mr. Patrick (Paddy) Burns died very suddenly on Sunday morning. Son Tom was able to get home for funeral which was at Tarleton, but George could not come. Stanley Hunter (Blackgate Lane) died last week and was buried at Rufford, the family burial place. Mrs. Jane Taylor of Banks was buried at Tarleton this week. Mrs. Billy Parkinson is staying with her husband in London. The Rector has been appointed an officiating Chaplain to the Forces by the War Office. This means that he will look after the spiritual and social interests of all troops coming within the district. While the Rector was away from the Parish Mr. Goring, Headmaster of H. B. Schools and Mr. Peters our own Headmaster took the daily intercession services in the Parish Church. The Sunday services were taken by the Rev. John Jolly, formerly Vicar of Flixton. Quite a number of 41's registered at Tarleton on Saturday. Harry Woodhouse, Moss Lane is supplying the Rector with all Hesketh Bank news each week, including those who are on leave. Tarleton Home Guard now have two tier beds (four of them) in the Guard room. Iron structure with steel wire bed. Owing to petrol shortage the Rector had to do a good deal of his visiting by train, and this greatly restricted the number of visits paid. He left his car somewhere near a railway junction and then went backwards and forwards to see the lads whose billets lay on nearby lines. Mr. (Sergeant in H.G.) Nutter has received a letter from Herbert saying that he is keeping well and sending his best wishes to all his friends. H.G. on the qui vive looking out for escaped German prisoners. Lettuce 3/6d per doz. this week, and Tomatoes 6/6 per lb. There are very few to be sold although we understand that Herbert Parkinson and some other Hesketh Bankers have some ready for sale. Mrs. George Almond, better known as Sally Tindsley has had a cablegram from her husband saying that he has been safely evacuated from Greece. Word has just come that all escaped German prisoners have been caught.

Name and Address, please!
With this letter you wll find a stamped and addressed postcard which we hope you will fill in and return at once. The reason it is sent is because the Rector, on his travels found the address book all out of date. This meant a great waste of time trying to trace lads. The Rector would be most grateful if all the lads would keep him up- to -date with their addresses. So please make a good beginning with this p. c. and in the future write whenever you move to a new address.

On Leave.
Ronnie Iddon, convalescent after being in hospital; Billy Parkinson, week-end; came back with his wife; Jimmy Latham (Kearsley) for seven days; Matt. Farington (Hoole) for seven days; Tommy Burns to attend his father’s funeral; Matt Sutton for seven days; Tom Tindsley (Blackgate Lane), for seven days. Marine Leslie Hodson for seven days. Ronnie Melling for seven days.

Not at Home.
While on his round of visits the Rector called upon the following lads and found them away. Dvr. Ronnie Iddon, in hospital, had gone to the Cinema; A.C.2 Walter Rawsthorne had gone to another aerodrome (the Rector stayed two hours at this camp before it was discovered that he had left, but the authorities were most kind); Sergeant Edgar Wait had moved the week before to another part of England; Pte. T. H. Parker was on manoeuvres and would not be back until the next day. Gdsn. Arthur Molyneux had taken the day off but the Rector thoroughly enjoyed the short time he stayed with his mates; Gdsn Matt Farrington was on leave; Gdsn. Aubrey Smith had been transferred to London. Dvr. Robert Watson had left with his unit for another part of England. The Rector is most grateful to the staffs of the Orderly Rooms of the Units of all these men for their kindness in giving him all possible help in his endeavours to see these lads, When in the town in which A.T.S. Martha West is stationed he did his best to trace her but without success as he only knew she was in this town and nothing else.

Petrol shortage.
The greatest difficulty was the shortage of petrol coupons. This meant leaving the car near some large railway junction and doing many journeys by train, and that took time especially as many lads were billeted at great distances from the Railway Stations.


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