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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
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World War II newsletter
December 3rd 1941

My dear Lads,
The one weak spot, and it is a most important and most serious spot, in our defensive and offensive preparations for the great task that lies before us is our apparent neglect of God. I say "apparent” for I do know that deep down in our hearts we are a God fearing people, and do acknowledge His supreme sovereignty of our lives. The fault largely lies with ourselves and with our spiritual rulers. As during the years of peace we were lulled into apathy, and neglect of our material armament, with what might easily have been disastrous results to ourselves, so too in the spiritual sphere the same process has been going on. It is up to us, then, to sit up and take notice, for the words of our Saviour still hold "apart from me ye can do nothing" Unless the next Peace is to be more disastrous than the old one we must all take stock of our spiritual resources at once. We owe this not only to ourselves but to our children. As our armies in the field are setting an example to and influencing world outlook, so too must the Army of God. “Who is on the Lord's side, who?." must now be our cry, for we must have no spiritual quislings to betray us. There is no room in a short letter to explain more fully, but think it out, and this Advent ask your Padre or the Vicar of the Parish to tell you more about it.
With very best love, and many prayers, L.N. Forse.

Extracts from letters.
P.0.W. Herbert Nutter writes a postcard from Kriegsgefangenenlager Stalag, VIII B. to ask the rector to thank all the people who have been so kind to him while a p.o.w. Says he has received many letters, and thanks all through the N.L. Adds "I am quite well trusting that we will shake hands again in England ere long." Aircraftsman Walter Rawsthorne writes from Canada to say "This is the third letter I have written you since arrival in Canada." (The rector has not received any of them so they must be feeding the fishes.) Says the Padre is very kind, and the weather is very cold. Adds "these Canadians keep telling us to wait until it gets 40 degrees below zero before we say its cold". Had 48 hrs leave and hitch hiked to Saskatoon, the nearest town 106 miles away, which is still quite primitive. Dvr William Harrison writes to say that he now has John Iddon, of Gorse Lane, as a companion. He has also made some very nice local friends and goes to their homes. Says he is glad to hear that his brother Tom is getting better and has been moved to a convalescent depot. Wishes all the lads in the Forces a very happy Christmas. Seaman Dick Burns, R.N. wishes to be remembered to all his brothers in the Forces, Jim, George, Tom, and Jack. Also asks us to congratulate, through the N.L. Captain Dean H.G.on his promotion. Also sends his best congratulations to Provost Sergeant Jim Leacy and his wife on their marriage. Says his training is "rough", running round the parade ground climbing ropes and ladders etc. From the Middle East comes an airgraph from Dvr Dick Sephton thanking us for the N.L. Says all the boys in Lybia look forward to them. But they all hate to see the list of boys on leave as they cannot get home. Has not seen Jimmy Burns lately. (His letter was written on Nov. 11th). Says "I hope you received my Christmas Card, as they are a M.E. issue". (So far it has not come to hand, but it doubtless will come as it was probably sent by ordinary mail). L/cpl George Barker begins "In a few spare moments of my busy life I am taking the opportunity of writing". Says he is very happy and is busy getting in Christmas supplies and seasonable fare so as to give the lads a good time both in their meals and in the Canteen. Says that on his last leave he found his little son much improved after his severe setback. A/C1.Billy Molyneux says he is sorry not to have written for some time but he broke his wrist and so was unable to do so. Adds "Nothing happens here, we are out in the wilds, billeted in fields and up to our knees in mud". Also says "We had a dance in camp the other night. The camp supplied buses to fetch the girls from --. We had a fine time I can assure you." Pte. Ken Robshaw writes to send his new address. He is now guarding a R.A.F. station and has all his food with the RA.F. Staff. Expects to get leave before Christmas. Rumour says his next move will be to a place nearer home. Aircraftsman Tom Dandy is still in the north and is doing well. He is sufficiently near to be able to get home for odd week ends. A/C1 William Sutton is still in England although waiting for his draft to get on the move. Says all his pals are a fine lot of fellows and will most certainly not let old England down. Wishes to be remembered to all his old pals in the Forces and will keep his eyes open when abroad on the chance of seeing some of them. Dvr Ronnie Sergeant begins his letter "Practically every time I write to you I have a new address." He is now in Yorkshire on a driver mechanic's course. He is going into the Royal Armoured Corps and says "I suppose my cousins Alec and Ted Barnish will be surprised to hear that I shall be in the same Corps as themselves. Says that he is quite enjoying his course, especially as the place he is in allows him to get home for week ends. Fred Pollard says they have a squadron of a new type of aeroplane where he is. Went to a Church Parade on Remembrance Day and the Church was crowded. He hopes to get another short leave in a near future. Likes his job and is well and happy. Pte. J. Power (Hesketh Bank) says, "Believe me, the goods we are turning out and inspecting, not including the supplies from America, speak for themselves that Adolf and his gang, including Musso’ are going to get a harder thrashing than they have already had to contend with“. He then adds the interesting news "This letter is being written under the surface, somewhere about 200ft down, where we eat and sleep etc. It is unbelievable until one has seen it. We have the luxuries equivalent to a modern hotel, and I could gamble on our section having the best food in any regiment". Wishes to be remembered to all his friends from H.B., especially to Fred Tiffin, Fred Carr and Joe Moore. He plays the harmonium for the Services in the Gym and the O.C. and the Vicar together have formed a male voice choir from the Company and hope to go Carol singing at Christmas. Says of his O.C. ''He is keen on the spiritual welfare of his men, so I think we are lucky to get such an 0fficer. Not only does it make men proud to be under him, but the confidence and courage to follow him anywhere." Dvr William Bridge is billeted in a very large indoor tennis court along with 300 of his Unit. Says that it is one big room. As a matter of fact it is the very place where the rector visited Jack Parker in the spring. Will Bridge says of it "This place of ours is alright up to now, but it is a terrible long way to anywhere". Ends "I will close now as my pal (Bill Dixon from Yorkshire) and I are due out at 8 p.m. collecting two loads of soldiers from --." Extracts from letters from Pte Arthur Harrison and Gdsn. Aubrey Smith held over till next week.

News from the Home Front.
A fox is running amok between Mere Brow and Sollom and has done great damage to geese, ducks and hens. He has been seen by several farmers but so far has not been shot. Dick Johnson, butcher, of Hesketh Lane was married on Saturday at Tarleton Parish Church to Vera Buck, daughter of Peter Buck, Hesketh Bank. Corporal Kemp's (Home Guard) Squad won the prize of £1 which was offered for the best team in the Landscape Target Competition. Home Guard have a dance at the Conservative Hall on Tuesday. Long discussion the other night in the H.G. Guard Room as to the right spelling of "Raffacking". We shall be pleased to hear from any of our readers who really do know how this word should be spelled. Tom Tindsley, home on leave, told the rector that when he was in the H.Q. Office (he is a Signaller), a young, smart Guardsman was called to the ‘phone to talk to his Officer. He listened at the phone while his Officer was speaking, then said "Yes, Sir,", put up the receiver, took two smart steps backward, and saluted the 'phone. He then looked foolish and went out. Tom Sutton and William Barker, out fleeting on the marsh the other night got lost and Hugh Twist found them and "showed them the way to go home". Sergeant Saul, formerley P.C. Saul of Banks, has now taken Sergeant Bannister's place at Croston as Police Sergeant for this Division. Mr. Herbert Parkinson, Moss Lane, has given the rector £1 towards the cost of sending the News Letter, for which we thank him. Mr. Thomas Wilcock, the School Attendance Officer, known to all Tarleton lads, died suddenly on Saturday. He lived at Penwortham with his daughter, who found him dead besides the fire when she returned from shopping. It is believed he had a seizure and fell into the fire. He was badly burned. He was 46 years of age. Robert Parkinson, Church Road, joins up on Thursday. Mrs. Wareing, Church Road, has entered Preston Infirmary and is waiting for an operation. Engineer Officer Jack Hague, Merchant Service, has sent a cablegram home from an unspecified foreign port to say that he is quite well. Margaret Coulton, Green Lane Farm, Sollom and Raymond Gollifer of Hesketh Bank are expecting to get married before Christmas. The rector is preaching at St. George’s, Chorley next Sunday morning, and at Croston the followirg Sunday. The Ministry of Information are showing a film in the Tarleton Church Schools on "Rat destruction." It will be free and should be interesting.

On Leave.
The following are at present on leave in the village:
Tom Burns, Harry Crook, Frank Timperley, Harry Iddon (Hesketh Lane); William Ellison; Thomas Parkinson (Carr Lane); Tom Tindsley; Jack Robinson (finishing his 14 days); John Wright; Nick Dewhurst; Gerry Pendlebury; Malcolm Parkinson (Moss Lane).


Prepared for web viewing by Mere Brow Local History Society