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World War II newsletter
December 11th 1941

My dear lads,
This is going to be my Christmas letter as I quite expect that next week’s issue will not reach you until after that Great Feast Day is over. So my very first thoughts must be to wish you, one and all a very pleasant Christmas tide and I pray that you may all be kept safe and enjoy yourselves as much as is possible in the circumstances. One thing, at any rate, you can all be perfectly sure about and that is that we shall all be thinking of you, especially at the Altar where I pray you, too may be found.
How often have I pointed out to you that our Lord Himself has said of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. 'Whosoever eateth My Flesh and drinketh my Blood, dwelleth in Me and I in him," and therefore, if you go to your Altar and we go to ours we both are assured that we dwell in the sacred Heart of Jesus and are therefore very, very close to each other. And I ask you to join with us all in Tarleton in our prayers that He who is the Prince of Peace may of His goodness soon bring Peace to this very distracted world, and pray too, that we may prove ourselves worthy of being entrusted with this most precious Gift. When we begin in earnest to prepare ourselves to Administer Peace in the world as He would have it administered we need have no doubt whatever but that He will grant it us. Again with every possible good wish for an enjoyable Christmas, ever your most affectionate brother in Christ,

Extracts from Letters.
Leading aircraftsman M.A.L. Davies, (better known as Mr. Davies the Liverpool schoolmaster) writes from Canada to say that his last N.L. addressed to Camden, South Carolina, eventually reached him in New Brunswick. Says "I estimate that it had travelled nearly 10,000 miles. This I imagine must be a record for one of your letters" (Will Ball, Scoot, had one that travelled 7,000 miles). Mr. Davies has been teaching a class of Canadian pilots, and enjoyed it. Says he had a wonderful time in New York and everyone was most kind. Met there some English sailors from our warships undergoing repairs "somewhere on the Atlantic seaboard". Wishes to be remembered to all his Tarleton friends especially Ronnie Iddon, Nick Forshaw Harry Rigby, Harry Taylor, the Burns boys, Mr. Peters and Staff, and the lads of the Home Guard. Cpl. Harry Taylor R.A.F., says that his brother in-law Harry Cookson was stationed very near him but has now moved on. Adds that he will be one of the lucky ones who will be home for Christmas. Wishes to be remembered to all the local lads and mentions by name Harry Cookson, Nick Forshaw, Ronnie Iddon, Bill Ellison and his friend Yorrie Davies "whom I am looking, forward to seeing on this side very soon". Marine William Wright says "my work here is gunnery and its on a big scale." and is having a good time. Wishes to be remembered to all especially Les Hodson. Seaman Tom Spencer. R.N. says, "You can tell Arthur Harrison and Tom Fazackerley that the weather on the east coast is lovely , except for the frost first thing in the morning." Had quite a nice time when he was in Scotland and says he really does like the Scots, although, as a matter of fact, his principal friend while there was a charming Welsh Girl. Dvr. Edwin Johnson (Holmes) sends best Christmas wishes and has found the N.L. very interesting. He is at present guarding an aerodrome. Pte. Tom Rigby (Toll Bar) says "I have just returned from a pleasant journey, eight more boys and myself have been to -- for some armoured cars. We found the people down there very nice and they gave us a swell time." Also says “we have a new Padre now and he is a fine fellow, anyone who wishes to have a talk with him can do so after the service." Wishes to be remembered to all the boys and especially to Walter Rawsthorne who is in Canada. Dvr. Abraham Wright writes to say that at present he has every comfort that one could wish for. Says "The Army's method of attending Church is too much like a Doctor's prescription 'take it, or take the consequences"', so he goes every Sunday morning to the Methodist Chapel, which is just across the road." Wishes to be remembered to his brothers, John and William. Pte. Ronnie Johnson writes his first letter after joining up to say that he is kept very busy and that they get up at 6.30 in the morning and do not finish until 5.30 p.m. as they are putting the recruits through intensive training. After 6weeks of this they have to pass a trade’s test and then go to a new company for a trade's course. A very nice Chaplain gave them a lecture one evening. Cpl. Robert Moss, R.A.F. says "We had a dance in the N.A.A.F.I. last night; quite a lot of W.A.A.Fs were there and we had a jolly evening. Has not done very much flying late owing to the weather and says that as he has been at the same camp for so long there is very little in the way of news except that he hopes to get leave somewhere about Dec.13th. Pte. Arthur Harrison says that his lot are always on the move. He is now P.M.O. (Privates’ Mess Orderly) and although he finds it hard work is quite satisfied as he misses the route marches. Is hoping to get his leave on Dec. 31st, says "I hope Harold Aspey is liking Army life; he will be the first one I know if he does. Remember me to him sir, please if you can find space:'" Wishes to be remembered to Jack Robinson and all at Plox Brow and at Sollom. Pte. Jack Parker (Liverpool) R.A.M.C. says he was home on leave in November but did not get across as "the feminine attraction at Liverpool was too great" Adds "Our R.S.M. has been promoted to Lieut. Q.M. and has been transferred to another Field Ambulance. We were sorry to lose him. I have not seen the new one yet, but we have been told he is a good chap. We tame lions in any case in our mob." Gnr. John Rimmer writes to say that he was just having a chat to Eric Butterworth (late of Blackgate Lane) who was asking how his friends in Tarleton were doing, when the N.L. was handed to him, and he straightway handed it to Eric saying “Here is the answer to your question.” Eric wishes to be remembered to Harry Price and all his old school mates. John has passed still another course in cookery and say O.C. was highly satisfied with the high marks he obtained. Gdsn. Aubrey Smith says that last week he missed a very good job because the M.O. would not pass him fit on account of his ears. It was that of driving an Officer about testing water in foreign climes. Says he is going to a specialist about his ears, and hopes that he will put him right.

A reminder.
Just at the present there is a good deal of change of addresses and so will everyone please notify the Rector when they move so that N.Ls do not wander all over the country. One sent to Abraham Wright on Feb. 22nd has just returned to the Rector with over 20 post marks on it shewing that the P.O. had tried their best to get it to him but failed.

A Prayer.
Grant calmness and control of thought, OLord, to all those now facing uncertainty and anxiety, for Thou, alone, dost know each man and his petition, each house and its own peculiar needs. Give unto us all courage, fortitude and endurance and a firm faith in the righteousness of our cause, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sgt. Stanley Baldwin has been promoted to the rank of Battery Sgt. Major. On behalf of all the lads we offer him our sincere congratulations. Harry Alty, son of Mr. Tom Alty, Heskcth Lane has volunteered and has been accepted as a Ship's Carpenter in the Royal Navy. The Rector received a visit from a Mr. Frank Walker of Longridge who has been with Mr. Davies (Yorrie) since he was at Scarborough and went with him to Canada. He has just returned and came to say that Mr. Davies was quite well. The West Lancs. R.D.C. is asking for about 6 men over 35 years of age for the Decontamination Squad. The bed jacket sold by Mrs. Robinson made £3.13.9d and was won by Mrs. Tom Alty (Hesketh Lane). Mrs. Robinson gave £2 of two proceeds to the M.U. Comforts Fund and £1.13.9d to the N.L. Fund. Mrs. Gill,of Hoole, sister of Mr. Sergeant, died suddenly on Sat. Eva Foulds and Vera Iddon (Sollom) have passed their medicals for the A.T.S. They are going south to make Barrage balloons. Both the M.U. and the Conservative Comforts Funds have sent 5/ to each lad away as an Xmas Gift. The Home Guard are having a Hot Pot Supper in the Church Schools on Tues. evening. There will be about 100 men present. The Guard on duty on Friday night had a preliminary canter by consuming three big Hot Pots during the evening. There were 8 present and they sent down a special invitation to the Rector to join them in the fray which invitation he was pleased to accept. Last week Miss Elizabeth (Beth) Howard, eldest daughter of Mr. Eli. Howard., Moss Lane, was married in the Hesketh Bank Methodist Chapel to Mr Ernest Smith, a Congregational minister. Those attending the Young Peoples Service on Sun. evenings, meet together every Friday evening in the schools for a social gathering. Robert Parkinson has been granted 28 days extension before joining his R.A.O.C. unit. A Lady flying a Gipsy moth came down in a field in the parish. A few locals who went to see "what was up" found her extremely annoyed. Says she to them "If you don’t go back to your farms you will soon become a national nuisance“. Police found her papers in order, and she flew away, helped considerably by the "national nuisances". We very much regret to have to record that the parents of Gordon Blower, Chapel Rd., Hesketh Bank, have received a telegram from the Admiralty to say that he has been reported as killed. He was in the Mediterranean but no further information has come to hand. William West and Willian Lowe have joined the Home Guard. Instead of a tea party at Christmas the Sunday School children are being taken to the Cinema lent by kind permission of Mrs. Knight. The rector regrets that having run out of petrol coupons he will be unable to fetch any more lads from Preston until the Next Year. The Superintendent of Police is giving a lecture on Thursday in the schools to A.R.P. Wardens on the preservation of Gas Masks. So far the Sollom to Mere Brow fox has not been shot.


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