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World War II newsletter
December 17th 1941

My dear Lads,
This letter will probably reach you after Christmas although written before, so again I wish you every Christmas Blessing. I hope that you liked the Christmas card I sent. I chose all the wording very carefully as I thought it all most suitable for a New Year’s prayer as well as a Christmas message. So read the again. This will be a very queer Christmas for all of you, especially for those in the near and far east. And I would commend to your special prayers Clifford Hambilton and Herbert Nutter who are now spending their second Christmas, behind barbed wire, as prisoners of war. What their thoughts must be you can well imagine. But thanks be to God in the Christmas Communion we can all meet together. When I was a prisoner of war I know how very close I felt to those I loved at home in this sacred Service.
I quite expect that next week I shall receive quite a shoal of letters from you all. This will mean that the extracts I take will have to be shorter than usual and I hope you will forgive me. But please do not cease writing because of this, for I value your letter greatly.
The days ahead will call for great courage, great endeavour and great endurance. These are qualities that come to those who have perfect trust and confidence in God. Our cause is a righteous one and we need have no fear. But it does call for more earnest prayer that God will bless us. "Apart from Me," said our Saviour, "Ye can do nothing." With love and every Blessing I am able to bestow, ever your most affectionate friend and rector,

From the Home Front.
John Webster goes for his medical on Tuesday, but as he is at a wireless school he will probably not be called up for some time. Local Home Guard had a Hot Pot supper in Schools on Tuesday night. Had an excellent feed and afterwards Harry Hodge, Claud (porter at the Station) and the Sergeants gave an excellent concert. H.G. also had a special show at the pictures on Thursday showing tactical exercises. Mr. John Pickervance has resigned his position as School Caretaker and Verger. We are looking for someone to take his place. He has held the post for about 10 years. Miss Winifred Pendlebury has given the Rector £2. 2s for the N.L. as the proceeds of the sale of a jumper she had knitted. Mrs. Cookson made a cake which went for 3/ to Mrs. Baybutt of Sollom who then gave it to the rector. Proceeds for the N.L. Mr. Penn is indisposed and unable to play the organ. Mr. Charles Southworth is very kindly taking his place. Mr. Reynolds, Douglas Avenue died on Friday aged 88 years. He was buried in Tarleton Churchyard on Monday. Bert Fawkes, who lives with his parents at Plox Brow, and comes from Liverpool, is joining the Tank Corps. He has been in the Home Guard for some time. A Dispatch rider was killed near the Tango at Rufford on Friday when he came in collision with a heavy lorry. The lorry driver and second man were seriously injured and are still unconscious. The dispatch rider was found under the lorry which had overturned into a ditch. Maureen Simpson the little daughter of P.C. Simpson was taken to Preston Infirmary this week with appendicitis. She had an operation and is doing well. The Sollom fox is still doing much damage amongst the geese and ducks. This week it has tackled Bretherton. The rector of Croson preached at Tarleton on Sunday morning. Mr. James Forshaw, the Confectioner has made a splendid Christmas Cake which is being sold for the N.L. fund. We will announce what it fetches after Christmas. The rector has sold his old car to Mr. Barlow of Sollom Lock. During the five years the rector has had it, he bought it new, it has been the village taxi; ambulance and general carrier. It has had one day as a baker's and confectioner's van and one day as a butcher's van, has been borrowed for innumerable other purposes, and has travelled 65,000 miles all over England without being decarbonised. It has also taken the rector to visit his lads in almost every camp and barrack in England. He was most sorry to part with it. Mr. Peter's gave the schoolchildren their Christmas parties on Tuesday and Wednesday. Kindly mothers supplied quite a good "feed". John Tindsley writes to his parents from Malay saying that he broke his wrist while playing Rugger out there. When he wrote it was doing well. Mr. Sergeant (Garlicks) supplied the Hot Pot for the H.G. on Tuesday at cost price. Mr. Robert Hull has given the rector 5/ towards the British Legion Comfort's Fund. The Banns of Marriage between Dorothy Barron and Thomas Forshaw, of Croston, were read for first time on Sunday.

Extracts from Letters.
A/C2 Tom Smith,the schoolmaster who lives in Hesketh Lane, sends a long, interesting letter. Says since joining the Army he has lived in everything from tents to luxury hotels. Is now in a hut. His companions, blacksmiths, fitters, carpenters, bricklayers, footballers, waiters, a conjuror and a saxophone player, all qualifying as Flight mechanics. Expects to go abroad, but does not want Russia as it is too cold, Singapore too hot, Lybia too dusty, so would prefer going to Tarleton. Sends his best wishes to Tom Southworth and Edwin Barron. A/C1 Roger Watson thanks Tom Spencer for remembering him in the N.L., and also wishes to be remembered to Pilot Officer Dick Rymer in Africa. Says "I don’t know if the N.L. goes out to Dick, but knowing you I expect it does." (it does). Tells Dick he is at the same place he, (Dick) was before he left for England and the east. Hopes to get 14 days leave in the New Year. Seaman Dick Burns, R.N, is now getting used to the Navy and says they now talk of fathoms. When someone makes a mistake and uses "feet" he is called up sharp and told "You are in a ship now." Wishes to be remembered to his brothers in the Forces, Jim (in Lybia), Tom, George and Jack, (in H.G.), also to his brothers in law George West and Harry Forrest (in M.E.) both in the Forces, also to his pals Harold Aspey, John Rowland and Jimmy Leacy, all in the Forces, and hopes the latter is enjoying married life. A/C2 W. Riding (New Road) wishes to thank the M.U. for gifts received. Says that he listened to a read sermon and was not impressed. Adds "I have yet to see the preacher who reads his sermon convey his sincerity to the listeners". Sends his kind regards to all his friends in Tarleton. Pte. Ken Ogden. R.A.M.C. has been transferred to another Field Ambulance after having been with his former one for over a year. He had made some good friends in his former Unit and is very sorry to leave them. but he writes that his present billets are good and the food very good. George Spencer who is making Tanks "somewhere in the South of England writes that he hopes to be home for Christmas. Says his lot played the R.A.S.C. at football and got beaten, but this was compensated by an excellent tea after the match which took place in a small town near the rector's home. He wishes to congratulate Jack Ashton upon becoming a proud father. Provost Sergeant Jimmy Leacy sends a really beautiful Christmas Card embossed, in gold, with the crest of the military Police. Says he attended, officially, a Warship week and headed the procession on a motor cycle Afterwards he was congratulated upon a "smart turnout". Wishes to thank Dick Burns for his good wishes and himself wishes all the lads a happy Christmas. Trooper Harry Devitt says "I have now finished my training and naturally I am ready for anywhere as a tank driver. I am writing this letter in a little log cabin in a wood waiting my turn on duty in a twenty four hour guard. Says that life is very much the same every day, but wishes to be remembered to all his friends in Tarleton. Sergeant Major Stanley Baldwin has moved, this time to the extreme south. Says that he was Promoted Battery Sergeant Major on his 25th Birthday, so the crown and laurel leaves that he is now authorised to wear on his sleeve made a most acceptable birthday present. Also says that his wife was charmed with Tarleton on her first visit and that Mrs. Howard, (Barron's Farm) made these especially welcome. Is billeted in a large hotel and is very comfortable. A/C2 Alf Rowland writes a very cheery letter saying that he is almost due for his 14 days passing out leave. Wishes to be remembered to Harley McKean, Bill Wright, Les Hodson and Jack Marsden. Says he will be sorry to leave where he is as there are some nice W.A.A.Fs there now. Corpl Robert Moss R.A.F. is leaving his present station where he has been quite along time and is going about 50 miles further north. This means that he will not be home for Christmas. Dvr. Harry Price asks us to pass on this line which he found in a book. "God has given us memories so that we shall have roses in December", and says that during these December days the memories of Tarleton and his friends there have proved the truth of this saying. During the last five days he has covered 870 miles. Sends kindest remembrances to his brother Bert, all the Tindsleys, George Almond and Bill Sutton. Also thanks the M.U. Bowling Club, British Legion etc. for the help they are giving. Sapper Tom Johnson, (Dick Johnson's son who has lived near Wigan for some years) says that his Mother has been sending him the local Paper every week but it has nothing about Tarleton in it, and the N.L. is just what he wants. Here is his (unsolicited) testimonial "Only someone who has been in the Services, or intimate with them, could think of and edit such a useful and interesting paper". Dvr. John Iddon (Gorse Lane) writes his first letter on Active Service. He is across the water. Says that it is always raining and cold where he is. Sends his best love to all the lads especially those in Lybia. Dvr. John Robinson, who is also across the water, says his Padre arrived back two days before he did and wishes to be remembered to the rector.


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