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World War II newsletter
December 26th 1941

My dear lads,
The last N.L. of the old year, written on the Feast of St. Stephen. Thus we are finishing a year to which no one could give an encore. But the life, and death, of St. Stephen does teach us a great lesson; for although attacked by an irate and furious mob he was vouchsafed a glimpse of the glory of the future before he passed on. He knew the cause for which he stood and suffered was righteous and true. Please excuse a long letter for I am very busy this week. The sudden death of Mr. Fred Webster, my friend and colleague, has thrust a heavy burden of work upon me, for of late years he has kindly relieved me of much executive work for which I am responsible. As regards the war things are looking more hopeful and I feel that we can all face the future with the utmost confidence. As many will see I have had so many letters that I have not been able to give extracts from them all. But next week I will record the names of all those from whom I have received letters and we shall have to leave it at that.
With very best wishes, and many prayers, for the New Year,
Ever your most affectionate friend and brother,

News from the Home Front.
We regret to have to announce the sudden death of Mr. Fred Webster on Tuesday . He was Tarleton's most respected citizen. Churchwarden, Superintendent of the Sunday Schools, Diocesan Representative, Member of Parish Council were only a few of the offices he held. He was also most generous. His loss is enormous. At the Funeral on Saturday at the Parish Church were more wreaths from public bodies than have ever been seen in Tarleton and the Church was packed with men. Banns of marriage were read out on Sunday for the following; P.C. Simpson who is marrying a lady from Wednesbury in Staffordshire; Margaret Coulton, Sollom who is marrying Raymond Ivyson Golifer; Frank Croft third son of Dr. and Mrs. Croft who is marrying a Miss Gaunt from Bradford; and, for the second time that of Dorothy Barron. Annie Wilson, Chapel Houses is engaged to George Farrington of Croston, and her sister Mary is engaged to James Ashcroft of Hesketh Bank. Tom Harrison, who is in the R.A.V.C. marries Hannah Moss at Holmes Chapel, Mere Brow, on December 14th. Henry Caunce, Mere Brow, has been discharged from the Army owing to ill health. Bert Fawkes volunteered for the Tank Corps, was told that there was no vacancy so is volunteering for the Navy. Mrs. Johnson of Holmes has given the rector a fine string of onions. Mrs. Fred Forshaw had a little boy on Tuesday. Both doing well. Mrs. Will Hodson, (nee Mabel Price ) had a little boy this week. This is her eighth child, all the others being girls. Both are doing well. Mrs. James Hague had a child on Tuesday: It died at birth. Mrs. Hague is getting on well. Mrs. Fred Twist (Tarleton Moss) has given the Rector a long string of onions to be sold on behalf of the N.L. Fund. George and Dick West have both joined the Home Guard. George Spencer comes home for a few days on Wednesday. Raymond Coupe (Moss Lane) was called up to the R.A.F. this week. As usual he was sent back for a few weeks until needed. Mrs. Dan Stazicker brought her little daughter to be christened on Sunday. She was called Mary. The wife of Philip Barron junr. presented him with a baby girl on Monday. Both mother and baby are doing well. The Christmas cake given by Mr.James Forshaw for the N.L. Fund made £6.

On Leave.
Squeezed out from last week's N.L.: Jimmy Sutton; Philip Rigby; George Burns; John Jones on embarcation leave. Married Annie Ball, daughter of Will Ball, Chapel House Farm, Tarleton Moss. This week's leaves; Fred Pollard, Fred Forshaw; Harry Devitt, embarcation; Alf Rowland, 14 days on completing R,A.F course Ken Robshaw; Will Wright, Royal Marines for 14 days; Dick Baxter R.N. (H.B.), Jack Marsden R.N.; Robert Moss for 48 hrs; Ted Ball R.N. for 14 days. He says that the N.Ls are beginning to reach him now and is pleased to have the local news. He says that they have plenty of amusements and he, himself, has enjoyed some good cricket. Again the one complaint is against the sand and flies. Says his Padre is a very fine man and a keen sportsman. Says that if any of the local lads are within reach of Suez he will try and fix up a meeting. A/C1 William Sutton writes from aboard ship and says he is in luck because he has a cabin which he shares with six others. Adds that he can get fags in the Canteen 50 for 1/3., bags of chocolate and tinned fruit, and you can't ask for the wrong thing. Sends the best Christmas and New Year wishes to all his old friends. Dvr Tommy Burns has again changed his address. He sends best Christmas wishes to all the lads and hopes they will all soon meet again at Fosters corner for their Saturday evening chat. Especially wishes to be remembered to Jimmy Leacy, and his wife, Tom Walsh, Ronnie Iddon, George West, Harry Forrest, and his brothers Dick, Jim, George. Gunner Harry Harrison wishes to thank the M.U. and the Women Conservatives for their gifts. Also desires us to remember him to all his cousins, too numerous to mention by name and to wish them all the best of Christmas and New Year wishes. A/C2 Tom Smith has now changed his address and is now somewhere in the midlands.. Says they have a station theatre, roller skating rink and swimming pool. Adds, however, that as the evenings are mostly spent in writing up notes, drawing diagrams etc., there is not much time to take advantage of these attractions. Seaman Dick Burns., whose address is Main Top, H.M.S. , says his lot have been running a show called "George and Margaret", which was very good, but as he saw it five times he got a little tired of it. However it made £200 for the Sailors' Comforts Fund it was worth it. Thanks the M.U. and the W.Cs for their Christmas gifts and wishes to be remembered to his brothers in the Forces and also to Harold Aspey, John Rowland, Bill Ellison and Ernie Ball. Pte Ronnie Sergeant has been on a Diver Mechanic's course and got 95% marks with a distinction thrown in. He is now on a bus carrier course for three weeks. Met Billy Stazicker of Rufford in the Y.M.C.A. Billy being an old friend of the rector we ask Ronnie to ask him to send his address and we will send him the N.L. each week. Corporal Michael Gicquel sends a really beautiful Free French Christmas card adorned with tricolour ribbon, and worded "Meilleurs voeux pour Noel et la Nouvelle Annee", inside a Free French bugler standing under the Tricolour calling upon all true Frenchmen to rally to the standard of Victory. Pte. Thomas A Harrison of the R.A.V.C. writes to say that he is coming home to be married. Is billeted in the south but says that he prefers the north.

Extracts from Letters.
It is quite impossible to give extracts from all the letters received this week. There has been a veritable flood of message's of good will from every quarter of the globe. So I will give as many as space permits. Corporal Frank Foster sends a cablegram from the Middle East saying "Best wishes for Christmas and New Year. News letters received. Many
thanks. Good Luck. Aircraftsman Harry Rigby sends a delightful airgraph from the M.E. containing a picture of an aeroplane parked in the desert with the pilot sitting beside it. From one of the wings he has hung a large stocking. Palm trees, moon and stars form the background The pilot calmly waits for Father Christmas to fill the stocking. Dvr. Dick Sephton’s airgraph from the M.E. depicts Father Christmas flying across the desert, with palm trees and pyramids as background, on the back of a camel with a large V on the latter's side. From Sapper Dick Johnson comes an M.E. airgraph inscribed on which is a delightful drawing showing a picture of the river Nile with the pyramids in the background a small town on the river bank, plenty of palm trees and a sailing boat on the river itself. It also, of course, contains the best of Christmas wishes from Dick. Dvr. Jack Robinson sends a very dignified Christmas Card from the "Headquarters, British Troops in ", with the Imperial crest on the outside and a charming photograph of "Sundown o'er Mountains of Mourn " as an inset. Will Ball R.N. (Scoot) H.B., who when his last letter arrived was 7,000 miles away, sends his ship's Christmas Card which is simple, dignified and most inspiring. Pte Bert Price writes to suggest that we should mention in the N.L. the nearest Town to which the different lads are billeted. Alas! we are not allowed to do it. The one thing the enemy wants to know is where the different Units are stationed. The N.L. goes all over the world and it might quite easily fall into enemy hands. But any lad can ask the rector for the address of his friends and it will be sent. Dvr. Harry Price sends a very fine card embossed with the crests of all the principle Units in British Army. Sapper Dick Johnson writes from Lybia to say "Thank you for the News Letters and the Parish Magazines''. He is with a young lad from Southport, but he does not give his name. Says that he is well amongst the sand and flies. His letter was dated Oct.10th; but his airgraph, undated, would have been sent much later. L/cpl Arthur Molyneux, whom we congratulate upon his promotion is still with the mechanised Irish guards and has been on a Tank course, and has passed OK.


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