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World War II newsletter
January 8th 1942

My dear Lads,
Just what I thought would happen, has happened. Everyone wrote to me at Christmas and this has interrupted the regular flow of letters. Usually I get from 20 to 30 letters every week from the lads away so that in the course of every five or six weeks I hear from you all. You all tell me how much you appreciate the " Extracts from Letters", for from them you can gather some idea where your friends are and under what conditions they are living. They also keep you in close touch - with each other and with the village. But unless you send me letters I cannot get extracts. If a few will write to me within the next two weeks we shall automatically get back to the even flow. I feel sure you will all be interested in the letter from the Bishop of Gambia, for it does show that the N.L. is doing a real little bit of missionary work.
Again with every good wish for the New Year, and with every Blessing I am able to bestow,
Ever your most affectionate friend and rector,

News from Home Front.
Dorothy Barron was married on Saturday in Tarleton Parish Church by the rector to Thomas Forshaw of Croston. Reception afterwards at Garlick's. Margaret Coulton, Green Lane Farm, Sollom, is being married at Tarleton P.C. on Saturday to Raymond Golifer, of Hesketh Bank. Police Constable T. Simpson is being married on Monday, at St. Paul's Church, Wednesbury, Staffs. to a Miss Weale. Betty Abram, W.A.A.F., of Moss Lane, daughter of William Abram, was married last week to a member of the R.A.F. whose name we do not know. Ernie Rogers, Sollom, aged 5 years, died last week and as buried at Tarleton on Tuesday. The rector's nephew Ian, (Trentham, Staffs) has been called up and is joining the Navy. Mr. Duckworth has been appointed Verger, School Caretaker and Sexton, in the place of Mr. Pickervance, who has resigned. Mr. Duckworth bought Hambilton's bungalow at the Tarleton end of the New Road and has lived there three years. He is a widower, his wife dying suddenly last spring. He comes from Prestwich, and has a daughter who is a school teacher. On Tuesday, the feast of the Epiphany, the rector held his usual party for the Altar Servers. There were no ladies present this year; but 16 lads came along and enjoyed a good evening. Hot Pot, Christmas Pudding and cakes made a good wartime banquet. The rector gave no presents to those present but by mutual consent, gifts will be sent to Servers in H.M.Forces. Mrs. Hague has received a cablegram from Engineer Officer Johnny Hague, in merchantman somewhere in the Pacific, saying that he is well. Owing to extra cost of production the Parish Magazine has now gone up to 3d per copy. Fred Coupe, Moss Lane, has been called up and is joining the R.A.F. We have Reggie Johnson's permission to relate the following: On Christmas night he and his girl were stranded at Southport after last bus and train so they rang up Bob McLeod who took his car and brought them home, even taking the lady on to Croston. Mrs. Walsh, Sollom, has been taken to Preston Infirmary. The newly formed Tarleton Football team is playing the Home Guard team on Saturday week. George Barron is the captain and John Spencer the secretary of the Tarleton team. Home Guard Dance in the conservative hall on Tuesday. Linda Abram, Blackgate Lane, is marrying Alf Wright, Moss Side, Mere Brow, in the next few weeks. The Guild of Players are giving a Pantomime in the schools this week end. Mrs. Foster has received cablegram from Frank who is in the M.E. saying that he is well. Mr and Mrs. Nutter, New Road, have received a letter from Herbert, p-o-w, saying that he has received the snap shots they sent him. He is keeping well. Mr. Culshaw, who was an assistant master at the Council schools has been appointed Headmaster of Hoole Church Schools. Mr. and Mrs. Nick Latham held a whist drive at their home and as a result have sent £3. 10s. to the Free Buffet for Servicemen on Preston Station.

Extracts from Letters.
If we were offering a prize for the most thrilling letter so far received we should be inclined to award it to the Rt. Rev. the Lord Bishop of Gambia. The Bishop's Diocese includes Dakar and Bathurst, although, of course at the present time he is excluded from the former town. The Bishop was home on furlough in the spring and went back to West Africa in May. Not being able to book a berth as a passenger he went as a deck hand, was torpedoed, joined another ship, and arrived in West Africa at the end of June. While in England the rector showed him some of the N.Ls. Imagine his surprise when a couple of days after his arrival in West Africa he saw one of the rector's N.Ls in that out of the way spot. It belonged to Pilot Officer Dick Rymer. He soon made Dick’s acquaintance, was asked to stay at his aerodrome, was given a tent, and actually stayed five months, although he originally only thought of staying one night. He prepared some lads for confirmation and before he left, a few weeks before Christmas confirmed 9 R.A.F., 2 R.A. and 17 African lads. He has now gone on to other parts of his Diocese, but, as will be seen from the extract given on the front page, he pays very high tribute to Dick Rymer and his brother Officers for the great help given him in his ministry while he was their guest. So the little N.L. was the means of opening a door in Africa through which our Saviour deigned to Enter. The rector would like to ask Dick if he still remembers asking him for a good motto for life and the rector giving him "Carpe Diem", roughly translated "Seize the opportunity." Verily both Dick and the Bishop seized the opportunity on this occasion. It is a really grand story and we thank the Bishop of Gambia for writing and telling us about it. He said he felt he must do so. Quite a cheery letter comes from John Iddon (Gorse Lane) who is "over the water" and is a driver in the R.A.S.C. Says he has now moved to a much better place and things are more easy. Wishes to be remembered to Jack Moss, Dick Gabbott, Nobby Clark, and says he is pleased to hear that Bill West has joined the H.G. L/Cpl Gdsn Arthur Molyneux, notice the promotion on which we offer our sincere congratulations, is at present on an Instructor's course. Says "I have just had the hardest course in all my army training and am proud to say that I have passed O.K." Wishes to be remembered to all the lads and says he does not mention any by name because they are all his friends. Dvr Tom Burns writes to send his new address. Has good billets, but says the snag is it is so muddy that he gets his boots dirty every time he goes out. Is on duty twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. Says "When my officer comes down I shall ask him if he can send down a spare driver so that I can spend one night at the pictures a week.” Sign.Tom Tindsley writes to say how very grateful he is to the people of Tarleton for their kindness to the lads away. Says “My pals have marvelled at the number of Associations and Clubs which help the Tarleton lads. I have replied personally to them all thanking them for their Christmas gifts but I don’t think it superfluous if you were to include another general big ‘thank you’ in the N.L. Adds "I have settled down very well in this backwood of English countryside, but I wish I could return to London, where, despite the air-raids I was very happy“ (the rector does not agree with him in this for Tom is in a really delightful spot, small but typical of the country; the rector knows the district very well.) Pte Arthur Harrison had a nice Christmas dinner in a barn. Says “We trimmed the place up and had twelve paraffin lamps burning”. Adds “I was very much touched by the way you all tried to make us happy this Christmas, The B.L., M.U., and a few more to all of which I would like to say "Thank you". Gdsn Aubrey Smith says “I was in hospital over Christmas with Tonsilitis, so had a quiet time, but I am well again now, so that is something to be thankful for." Sign.Tom Fazackerly says “To-day I went for a long walk to see what kind of country I am in. I went round two very small villages, very old and quaint, then found I had not much time to get back in so had to hitch hike." Also adds this interesting bit "Being in action we have to stand to every night. If we stay out after 10 we get sleeping time in the morning. It was 9-30 when we got up. We had tea in bed and also breakfast which is unbelievable. We have tea in bed at 6 -30 every morning; and seeing that there are only 8 of us on the site its more like a small family and we are quite happy.” Bert Marsden took the trouble to call on the rector with the Rufford news, but the Rector regrets that he has mislaid the paper on which it was written so he will ask Bert again for its contents. However he does remember that one item was that Jack Griffen has been discharged owing to his asthma, and another was that Bert would like to take advantage of the N.L. to wish his many friends away a very Happy New Year.


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