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World War II newsletter
November 6th 1941

My dear Lads,
As you will see for once we have a new head piece. It was designed especially for this number of the N.L. by Thomas Coulton, of Marshes Lane, Mere Brow. It should speak for itself. It has been obvious from the beginning that this war is actually a crusade. We are called upon to re instate in this world the spiritual gifts of Freedom, Truth and Worship. Hence the winged crusader giving trumpet call to one and all to enter the fray as Christian soldiers with a mission, a messenger with a
challenge never resting in his fight “till tower and town and cottage have heard the trumpet's blast" And with him goes the laurel wreath to crown those who nobly take up the Challenge and manfully fight under the Banner of Christ our Lord, stained with his own most precious Blood, willingly shed that He might bring redemption to this sin-shackled world. We must never forget that this is the same battle that we fought in the last war. The lads of that time were called upon to win the war. They did everything they were asked to do, and then handed the world over to the civilians. And the civilians through apathy, carelessness and negligence lost the peace that was theirs to impose upon the world. It must not happen again. So on Sunday we remember those valiant lads who gave their lives in that conflict, but not in vain, if, and only if, we profit by the mistakes made during the armistice which lasted from 1918 to 1939. It is for us then to make ourselves fit to administer the Peace which will assuredly come when, and not until, God sees us ,capable of re-establishing the world upon the Rock which is Christ, our Redeemer. And it is only fair to the lads who have given their lives in the past that we should do so.
With my love and my Blessing, and with every remembrance of you all in my prayers,
Ever your affectionate fellow soldier,

Extracts from Letters.
Dvr. Billy Harrison is now a Regimental Policeman and says that it is a seven days a week job. His letters lately have had the wrong address but somehow they seem to have reached him. Wishes to be remembered to his brother Sign. Tom Harrison who is now in a military hospital. Also wishes to be remembered to John Caunce. Pte Ronnie Sergeant, who “chivvied" from one Unit to another a "Divisional Orator'' told them to return to the H.L.I., so he is now back with his original Unit after a hectic series of “move along please." However he is quite satisfied for rumour has it that he may be coming towards Lancashire. Says this may be wishful thinking but he hopes not. AC2 Thomas Southworth (Hesketh Lane) is at present on a course which he finds very interesting, much more so than this civilian job which is Banking. Says the likes the N.L. because it keeps him in touch with the Life of the village. Also says that he gets it very regularly. His is one of the N.Ls that like the gipsy’s fair lady comes to him "across the water.” Dvr. Dick Sephton sends a very full Airgraph from the Middle East beginning "Thanking you ever so much for the great expense and time it must take you to write and distribute all these well put together N.Ls. The last one I received was sent on 1 7 41. All in our tent love to read them, even our Corpl, a man from the South." Later on he says “Well, it is a long time since we had a service in camp, and the Chaplain said it was difficult to hold them, as nearly all our men are out early in the morning and in late at night, and, of course, no Saturday afternoons or Sundays off; but he was very kind and gave us each a ‘B.R.F. Service Book‘. Provost Sergeant Jimmy Leacy writes “A few days ago I had a pleasant surprise; an Airgraph letter from Jimmy Burns, who, as you know is in the Middle East. His letter was dated 29th Sept. and at that time he was very well. His letter was in reply to one that I sent him some tine ago. He wishes to be remembered to all his pals through the N.L." Jimmy Leacy, later on in his letter says, "I would especially like to ask Harry Cookson to write to me; I have lost his address and cannot get in touch with him. The N.L. still arrives regularly, and is as full of news as ever. Best wishes to all my pals at home and away." Dvr.Jack Robinson writes from overseas to say that he is hoping to be home on leave in about a fortnight’s time. Says they have a meeting every Thursday evening and the Padre is always there. Last week they had a very special evening for the Chaplain General came and Jack had the pleasure, and indeed, the honour, for it surely was such, of driving him about before the meeting started. Adds "It was a great night." Also says that he is glad that Tom Spencer is enjoying his life in the Navy and wishes to be remembered to him. Goes on "Well, sir, I am enjoying this place where I am. It is great. I am sleeping at the side of a lad who comes from Southport and who has played football at Tarleton for years, I have some good mates here. The padre was asking how you were getting on and wishes to be remembered to you." (The rector takes this opportunity of asking Jack to be good enough to thank the Padre for this kind remembrance and to return the compliment.) Seaman Frank Mckean, R.N. sends a long letter franked "Received from H.M.Ships", so before we opened it we knew that he was "under weigh". Says he has been fortunate in finding quite a few pals on board. Goes on "It is a great difference being on this great ship. She looks a mighty ship when you are standing on the land." Says that he does not expect to be home again for quite a long time, but adds "I do hope that I shall receive the N.Ls as regularly as is possible. I know that from your end there will be no delay." (Thank you, Frank, for your confidence in me, but what you say is true.) Before embarking he had a spell at working on the Navy kitchen garden. While at this job he met Seaman William Ball, Newarth Lane, H.B., and says they had many a "chin wag". ' The Second Sea Lord visited this kitchen garden (only Frank and Bill worked on it), and when he left the Lieutenant in Charge of the Station came and told them that the S.S.L. was very impressed with all he saw. Sign. Tom Tindsley writes from the Township in which the rector was born. His father was married in the Parish Church of this place over 70 years ago, and has lived there without a break ever since. He still lives there, although the district in which his house is situated has been formed into a separate parish within recent years. He is now over 90 years of age. Tom's letter is full of reminiscences for the rector. For instance, he says he went to play billiards at a Vicarage with the Rev. E.H.G. Sargent, who is vicar of the Church the rector regularly attended when a boy. In the rector's time the vicar was an elderly man named Molyneux. To go on, Tom says "when we arrived the vicarage rang with voices of young boys playing games. I thought of you, and how the boys of my own village could often be found enjoying themselves with you. The memory had much to do with the prompting of this letter.” Perhaps there were other spiritual reasons for his connecting the place with the rector, for he often wanders in thought along the quiet country lanes which lie between Ascot, Windsor, Chertsey and Staines. Tom, being a Methodist, looked for a similar place of worship but found none. That is true; the old Countess de Morella, who owned practically the whole place and lived at Wentworth, kept them out. A.CW/1 Doris Molyneux writes from the South to say that she is billeted in a lovely house on a large county estate. She is on H.Q. staff and says that she has some nice rooms to work in. She says she was home for seven days a fortnight ago, but she apparently did not venture as far as Tarleton but stayed in that hub of the Universe - Holmeswood. Thanks the rector for the N.L. and also for the Parish Magazine. Gunner Tom Fazackerly writes from the coast to say that over there they are having “some rum weather.” Went fishing in a mill-race and caught a big roach which he had for tea, and enjoyed it. Says that the people where he is have a strange lingo and he has difficulty in understanding them. Also says that when he went for a walk all he could see was sugar beet. Pte. Arthur Harrison writes from the same country, although about 30 miles away from Tom, to say that his lot is still in huts "in the fields", and all one can see for miles is ploughed fields and trees. For the first time in his life he has seen women brick-layers. Says "Tell Jack Robinson that I say after this war is over we will take a farm between us in Tarleton some where." Is still working on a farm where he is in between his army duties. Pte Ken Ogden says he has two bad fingers and so finds difficulty in writing. The billets are very good, electric light and fires but he feels the cold after being so long in the South. Says he thinks that they have two miles to march to Church, but as he has not been long where he is has not yet found his bearings. He thinks that he will be where he is until after Christmas.

On Leave.
This list includes those who came home on leave last week and have now returned as well as this week’s leaves.
AC2 Thomas Parkinson (Carr Lane); Sergeant Ernie Ball for 9 days; Gdsn Kenneth Hind for 7 days; Dvr Tom Rigby for 7 days embarkation leave; Pte Harry Latham for 7 days; Gunner Dan Stazicker for 7 days; Trooper Alec Barnish (Tank Corps) for 7 days; A.C. John Pickervance for week end; A.C.Alf Rowland for week end; A.C. Edwin Barron for 7 days ; L/cpl Fred Forshaw for eight days; Dvr Edwin Johnson for seven days; AC W. Riding (New Road) for seven days. AC Fred Pollard for week end; AC Will Clee (Kearsley Avenue) for week end; Dvr Harley McKean for seven days; AC Stanley Quinlan for week- end; Seaman Jack Marsden R.N. for seven days.

Jimmy Farrington
The rector has received the following information concerning Jimmy Farrington who, as reported in the N.L. a few week's ago, was wounded while fighting in the middle east. His father and mother write to the rector as follows; "We have received word about our son Jimmy from the Middle East. He is in hospital at the time the letter was written on 5th Sept. and is progressing favourably. The cause of his injuries was due to a bomb bursting quite near him, and he had some splinters in his right thigh, but the splinters have bee removed and he is making good progress.”

News from the Home Front.
The engagement has been announced of Miss Rose Twist Fermor Road, daughter of Mr. Hugh and Mrs. Twist, to M. Michel Gicquel a soldier of the Free French Force stationed in England. He was badly wounded, sent to Southport to convalesce, and so met his fiancee. He is now in London, but often comes to Tarleton when on leave. Johnny Hague sends an Airgraph to his mother from Bermuda to say that while out in that area he met William Ball (Scoot) of Hesketh Bank. George Hunter who is in the R.A.F. is at present in Hospital with a high temperature after innoculation. The King and Queen were seen by several of our Tarleton people when they visited a N.W. town where they were working. Harry Spencer was married on Thursday at Hoole. The rector's car the village taxi has at last gone West. The Guild of Players have sent £13 to the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund as the result of their recent production., The father in law of the new Landlord of the Becconsall Hotel dropped dead at 5 p.m. on Friday. He had been staying with his daughter at the Bec. Herbert Nutter, prisoner of war, writes home to say that he has put on 1 1/2 stone in weight. Robert Baybutt, of Oak Farm, has grown a potato 14 inches long. The rector has bought another second-hand-Minx-car from Mr. Watkins, the rector of Hoole. John Iddon (Prime) joined the R.A.S.C. on Friday. Air Raid Shelters are being built in the playground at Mere Brow Schools. Isaac Spencer Ltd. of Penwortham are doing the work. Sergt. Stanley Baldwin is bringing his wife on Wednesday to pay her first visit to Tarleton. Mrs. James Howard has kindly invited them to stay with her at Barron's Farm. The rector’s old car made two midnight visits to Preston and one to Manchester last week to fetch those coming on leave. The rector is preaching at St. George’s Chorley on Sunday afternoon next, Nov. 9th. for the Remembrance Service, to which all the National Services have been invited. Our own Remembrance Service will be held on the following Sunday, Nov.16th, Canon Lambert of Whalley will preach the sermon. Again all the National Services have been invited.

More News from the Home Front.
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Ball have invited Miss Connie Maher, of Luton, to stay with them while their son, Sergeant Ernie Ball, is on leave. Miss Maher is Ernie's fiancée. On Sunday the rector was taking the Service at Mere Brow at 2 p.m. and at Tarleton at 3 p.m. Going to Mere Brow the front tyre of the car punctured on the New Road just opposite Mr. Harry Iddon’s, Hunter’s Lane Farm. He locked up his car, left it at the side of the road, hailed a passing car and hitch hiked to Mere Brow arriving exactly at 2. Tom Harrison took him back to Tarleton in time for the 3 o'clock Service. Afterwards Mr. Richard Wignall motored him back to his car, when the rector put on a spare wheel and came home.


Prepared for web viewing by Mere Brow Local History Society