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World War II newsletter
December 31st 1941

My dear lads,
Together we step forward into the New Year, along a path that is unknown, the end of which no one can foresee. All we do know is that it is bound to have many a rough place in it and many a dark spot. But, thank God, we are not left to grope in the dark unaided, for as the psalmist so truly says (Ps. 119. verse 105) . “Thy word is a lantern unto my feet; and a light unto my paths." Perfect trust in God will give us the surety that however hard and difficult the days ahead may be He will light our paths day by day as that we shall not fall. Day by day my one prayer is that we may all have that Faith, Love and Perseverance which will, undoubtedly, bring us the final victory. But let us ever hear, ringing in our ears, those words of our Saviour, "Apart from Me, ye can do nothing." And only experience will prove how true those words are.
Once again with every Blessing and good wish for the coming year,
ever your most sincere and affectionate friend,

Extracts from Letters.
This week the rector has received 130 letters from the lads away, in addition to scores of Christmas and New Year cards. Everyone will understand that it is quite impossible to give extracts from all these, so he has chosen a few quite at random, and knows that those whose extracts are not included will not be offended. Pte. James Latham, who is on the high seas, writes to say "We may dock in the course of a day or so, so I thought I would write and let you know how much I appreciate your N.L. which I receive week by week." He then goes on to say a good deal that the censor thinks we should not know, for great chunks have been cut out of his letter with a pair of scissors. Finishes "Remember me to all the lads in your next N.L." Sgt. Jack Bourn also on board a ship going ‘somewhere', writes, "'We are on the high seas, but where we are sailing to I cannot say." Says they still have a long way to go. He attended service in the lounge and was pleased to find that they sang his mother's favourite hymns. Wishes to be remembered to all the boys in H.M. Forces especially Sgt. Major Stanley Baldwin and Dvr. Dick Sephton. From Lieut. Arthur Croft comes a very neat greetings card with the words "the very best to you Padre", and on the other side just the words "at sea". Lieut. Croft is an Officer in the Royal Artillery. Pte. W. Seddon reminds the rector that he was married by him in Tarleton Church and asks us to tell his mother in law Mrs. Fazackerly how much he appreciates the N.L. which she asked the rector to send him week by week. Gunner John Ball says, "We have had a week at relieving a Battery, and what a week! Walking in a foot of mud all the day, and the only light at night a storm lamp. We had to wash in a running stream near by, but the water was very clear." Gunner John Rimmer sends a short letter chiefly to wish the very best for the New Year to all the local lads both on home service and abroad. Tpr. Alec Barnish, Tank Corps, writes on his way abroad and says that he hopes he will eventually find himself alongside his brother Ted, who is in the M.E., and also in the Tank Corps. Sends his kind regards to his cousin Ronnie Sergeant, and says he is glad to hear that he also is now in the Tank Corps. Petty Officer Nick Forshaw, writes from H.L.S. to say that the weather where he is is more like Spring than Christmas. Says the Petty Officers' Mess had a big snooker competition and he surprised himself by going through to the final. So the hours he spent in the British Legion Club were evidently not wasted. Ends "If you can spare space in your next N.L. please extend my best wishes for the New Year to all the lads in the Forces, especially Ronnie Iddon, Harry Taylor, Harry Rigby, Ronnie Sergeant, Jack Hague, Yorrie Davies, who I hope will soon be once again on this side of the drink, and all the lads in the R.N. " Sgt. Ernie Ball says his coy. had their Christmas dinner in the canteen of a very large motor works, and adds "What a dinner! Turkey, Pork, Roast Spuds, Sprouts, and everything else that is good, including 150 gallons of beer; and as usual, the Officers and Sgts waited on the men. We had our dinner at 7.30 at night." AC Tom Dandy says at the place where is billeted "a lot of Scotsmen have come in this week, and about 400 Dutch sailors, but we chaps can't tell a word they say. "Says he is still in the Office, but cannot say how long he will stay there. Seaman Tom Spencer has now gone overseas to join that gallant band including Jack Robinson, Billy Harrison, Stanley Johnson etc. So far has not made contact with them. Wishes to be remembered to all the lads in the Forces. Dvr. Harley Mckean; stationed in a very much blitzed area, sends an excellent Christmas card designed by his own Company which includes the V. sign in addition to the R.A.S.C. crest. Pte. Ernie Nicholson, who is in the London Scottish, writes "I have done another move for the better and would be glad if you would note my new address for the speedy delivery of the N.L. Says he has volunteered for the Div. Recce Battn., which, says he, is well and truly mechanised. Sends the best to all the lads. AC Tom Smith writes a most interesting letter. Says "Last Sunday I was on Ch. Parade, when I heard a very interesting talk from our Padre. His theme was that the present conflict is a direct result of our having lost touch with and interest in Christ. He said that we sing "0 come all ye faithful etc." at the top of our voices without realising what we are coming for. In this I entirely agree with him." The rector would also like to say that he also entirely agrees, and to add that it would well repay all the lads to read again, and study diligently, the four Gospels. Pte. Ronnie Johnson says, "I am getting more like a full soldier now, they won’t know me in Tarleton." Adds that a lad in his hut won the Cross Country this week out of 260 runners. Finishes "I have dressed for Church Parade two Sundays running but was unable to go as they only take 70 men and I have been put amongst those who have had to fall out." AC Tom Parkinson says that his station has now been changed to a Bomber Training Centre. He says that his name was put on the list for overseas, but when it got to the Main Office it was crossed off, for which he is very thankful. Pte. Joe Power (H.B.) says that his lot had an extremely varied menu of Christmas fare: Holy Communion at 7.30. then some work, than a bit of a concert and entertainment on the stage while the men had their Christmas dinner, and in the evening a dance after work. Sends the best of good wishes to all his friends.

News from the Home Front.
Mrs. James Taylor, wife of Mr. James Taylor (Trix) of Boundary Road, died suddenly on Monday night, aged 48 years. Mrs. Ellen Lund, Briery Villa, Blackgate Lane, died on Tuesday. Howard Gabbott was married at Banks last week. Edwin Hodson went shooting on the marsh with some other lads on Sat. when opposite the boat building yard he was shot in the leg by one of his companions who was cocking his gun. Taken first to Dr. Croft, he was sent at once to Preston Infirmary where a great number of shot was taken out of his leg. He is doing well. Ernie Rogers the little son of John Rogers of Sollom is in Scarisbrick Isolation Hospital suffering from meningitis. He is very ill indeed, and his parents have been sent for. The Liverpool City Council gave a tea party for the very few evacuees remaining in Tarleton. This took place on Tues. in the Church Schools, and Miss Elizabeth Latham and Miss Abbott were in charge. The box of chocolates which Mrs. Kerruish sold on behalf of War charities brought in £9, of which £5 goes to the Free Buffet on Preston Station and £4 to the Russian Red Cross. Large congregations at the Communion Services at Tarleton Parish Church on Christmas Day, but we missed the many young men who could have been there had they been at home. The usual New Year's Eve Dance is being held in the Schools this year. Mr. Harry Hodge, the Officer in Charge of the District Fire Service told the rector that 70 local men had recently joined as recruits. Robert Parkinson joins the R.A.O.C. on Thurs: Mrs. Caunce, who used to live at the Lock, died on New Years Day, aged. 86 years. Bert Price was married at Hesketh Bank Parish Church to Muriel Cookson, on the last day of the old year. Harry Price got 48 hours leave to attend the wedding. Mr. James Whittle, Coe Lane corner was 80 years old on New Year's Day. Owing to the fact that nearly all the Servers who have not been called up are in the Home Guard and have, alas! to be on parade on Sunday mornings the rector has chosen a new lot from lads of 15 years. We may, eventually, have to come down to infants in arms, who knows? Mr. Duckworth, of the New Road, has been to see the Rector about taking on the job of Verger and School caretaker in the place of Mr. John Pickervance who has resigned. Very little leave this Christmas, W.A. A.F. Doris Molyneaux home and came to dance on New Year's Eve.


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