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World War II newsletter
October 7th 1941

My dear Lads,
I have received so many letters during the past few weeks that I have had some difficulty in squeezing all the extracts into the N.L. This week there has been a little lull, but when one looks at the large number of local lads on leave during the past fortnight this is easily explained. As I have said before unless I get your letters I should have nothing to pass on to your old mates. There is very little purely local news for in a village such as ours one day is very like another. I went down to Fermor road to-day and expressed on behalf of us all, you included, our sympathy with Mr. and Mrs. Adams, who have just received word that Trevor who was reported missing from Norway last year must now be presumed to have died of wounds. Both the Colonel of the Scots Guards and Lady Amphill on behalf of the Red Cross wrote very touching letters to Mr. and Mrs. Adams.
Well, I am not writing a very long letter today as time is short and I want to catch this post, but always remember that you are all daily in my thoughts and in my prayers and I certainly do pray, and most earnestly, that you may all soon be back again to your village homes, in health and strength. That is something to look forward to and when that day comes we shall, I know, all want to go to Church to offer our thanksgivings to Almighty God. And as I pray for you so I ask that you, of your kindness of heart, will pray for me, and prayer goes a long way.
Ever your affectionate brother,

Extracts from Letters.
A long and very interesting airgraph comes from Corporal Hubert Tindsley from the Middle East. Says he misses being in the jungle because there all the work of washing shirts, towels etc. was done by native boys. However he has shaken off the effects of malaria and is feeling extremely well. Says "By this time I have learned to eat stew seasoned with sand instead of salt and pepper, to bath in a mess-tin of water, and to wash shirts, shorts, etc.” He has made contact with his brother-in-law, George Almond and is making arrangements to meet him as they are not very far apart. So far he has not met any Tarleton lads but is keeping his eyes wide open in case any should pass his way. His letter was written on Sept. 7th, and arrived in Tarleton on Oct. 7th. Pte. Kenneth Robshaw has moved to a new address, also to a new job. He is now Telephone Orderly. Says "Well, I am in a grand billet, we are right in the busy part of ---­. It seems quite a change from being in the wilds. We have a grand canteen also a Post Office and a Cinema, and we have a dance at the week-end and all is O.K." Ends "Don't forget to remember me to all the lads from Tarleton." Dvr. Jack Robinson writes "'We are broadcasting from our Camp on Sunday night at 7. 30 to 8 ". He has changed his address and says that the place could not be better. Wishes to be remembered to his friend Bob Sharples whom he hopes to see before long, also to his friend Arthur Harrison. Says he is still keeping his hand in at milking and hopes within the next few days to get busy with harvesting. He is still doing Batman for the Chaplain and still likes the job immensely. Sends the best of good wishes to all the lads. Seaman Jack Marsden R.N. begins his letter “My pal and I were walking down a street in ---, when who should we run into but Bill Wright. It was a pleasure to meet someone from Tarleton, and you can bet we had a good talk. Well about a week later we were on duty in the Cinema when in walked Frank McKean. He stayed till after the Show, then we went to talk things over in the canteen." Says he hopes that Tom Spencer has as good a time as he is having. Gunner Tom Fazackerley says he has got a new C.O. who is wakening things up a bit. He is feeling very fit but is still on light duty after his stay in hospital. Is hoping to get a leave this week or next. He met a man from Rufford called Hugh Caunce who says that Fred Carr is with his Regt. Says they have a dance every Friday, but adds "But no dancing for me, I would rather go fishing. I am going to have a go for some pike when I get the chance." L/cpl George Barker says that he is still carrying on as ration corporal and catering for the Officers and Sergeants messes. A fortnight ago they opened a new canteen and have given him the job of running it. Says "The only trouble is getting enough stuff to put in it, as everything is soon mopped up when I get it to this remote spot." Says that he met Harry Cookson the other day. Harry was on a course of instruction in a nearby town. They have arranged to meet again. Has had his wife staying with him for a week. Says they have much varied talent in their company. The other day in the Canteen he had a Pole giving a turn on the piano and a Russian singing. They explained to him that the latest piece of dance music “YES! MY DARLING DAUGHTER”, is derived from a very great piece of Russian Opera music. Ends by wishing all the people of Astland and district all the best.

On Leave.
Owing to the number of letters last week and thus the large amount of space needed for extracts the names of those on leave were omitted from last week' s N.L. So we give them here.

William Sutton, 7 days; Arthur Harrison 7 days; Alf. Rowland 48 hrs; Jimmy Sutton 48 hrs; Fred Pollard 7 days; Dick Harrison 7 days; Billy Molyneux 7 days; Harley McKean for week-end; Gerry Pendlebury 7 days; Ronnie Melling 48 hrs; Henry Caunce (Mere Brow) 7 days; Dick Gabbott 7 days; Charlie Wright (Mere Brow) 7 days; George West 7 days; Joe Wait 7 days; Dick Baxter (H.B.) 7 days; Tom Southworth (Hesketh Lane) 48 hrs; Tom Smith (Hesketh Lane) 7 days; Clarence Iddon (H.B.); Billy Parkinson 28 days agricultural leave; Jack Bourn (Rufford) 7 days embarcation leave.

John Ball 7 days; John Rowland 7 days; Norman Barron 7 days; Harry Cookson for few hrs on Sunday; Billy Harrison 7 days; (really 9 days, because he is allowed two for travelling); Abraham Wright 7 days; Billy Molyneux; and Tom Burns for 7 days.

Up to date one hundred and one lads have sent the rector their photographs to put in the Lady Chapel in Church. Thus there are still 29 missing. Will these 29 please send their photos as soon as possible so that the gallery may be complete? Also there are still just a very few lads who never send the rector a letter. Every one of these receives every week the rectors News Letter, which we suppose they like reading. The rector takes a lot of trouble gathering in odds and ends of news, and quite a lot of time writing the letter every week, and spends about 30/- a week in 2 1/2d stamps sending them out. So he does not feel he is asking too much from these few when he asks for a letter now and then. As a matter of fact a glance through the N./Ls will shew that there are not more than a dozen who do not write. Are you one of that dozen? You like to hear of others, others like to hear of you.

Mr. John Spencer, Whittles Farm, fell off his lorry, the wheel went over his foot and severely injured it. He is doing well. Dick Burns and Will Ellison (Kearsley Ave) both go for their medical this week. “Prater Piking” begins this week. A good crop. George Harrison (Sollom Moss) is employing 19 pickers. Jack Marsden’s ship sent £100 to the Duke of Gloucester’s Red Cross Fund. Mr. Robshaw came home from Southport Infirmary last Wednesday. Mrs. Cadman, who was Miss Jean Seddon-Brown of Bank Hall, now of Caton, has joined the WRENS. Her husband is in the Royal Marines. Hesketh Bank Church Harvest next week, also New Longton. Alice Taylor and Robert Rigby, both of Mere Brow were married on Saturday at the Methodist Chapel, Mere Brow. Jack Edmundson joins the R.A.F. on Wednesday as a wireless operator. Mr. John Johnson (Boon) of Dairy Cottage, Blackgate Lane, died very suddenly on Friday and is to be buried on Tuesday, He was 77 years of age. Bert Melling goes for his medical on Wednesday. Mr. And Mrs. Adams have been officially informed that their eldest son, Trevor, Scott’s Guards, who has for long been reported as missing in Norway, died of wounds received in the engagement. The two Misses Coulton, Hesketh Lane, had a sale of their poultry farm on Saturday. Both cabins and poultry fetched excellent prices. Bob Farrington, Gatecliffe Farm is ploughing the field up. Marine Leslie Hodson has joined a ship sailing to foreign parts. Freddy Coupe, Moss Lane, who is one of our Servers and works for the 50/- Tailors has been transferred from the Preston shop to one at Crew.
The proceeds of the Cinema Show which Mrs. Knight gave last Tuesday for the British Legion Club came to £14.10s. During the interval Mr. Bailey drew out of a box the winning number for a huge box of chocolates that Mrs. Ashcroft (New Road) was raffling for the same good cause. It was won by a Mrs. Birkenshaw who is living at Mr. Jackson’s, Windgate. She is a Liverpool evacuee. The chocolates made £5. Mrs. Ashcroft gave £3 of this to the B.L. Club and £2 to the rector towards the cost of sending the N.L. The Chemists has been closed for a few days as Miss Philips is ill. Sergeant Robert Spencer, H.G., has been on a week’s course on “Tactics”, and has now returned to give lectures to the local H.G.
The rector is resigning his commission in the H.G. as his special work in the Company would entail him having to be outside the parish if, and when “the Balloon went up”, and of course that is just when he would be most wanted in the parish to do the work to which he has dedicated his life.


Prepared for web viewing by Mere Brow Local History Society