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World War II newsletter
February 10th 1942

My dear Lads,
Well! here I am back at work, but only just. I am still feeling pretty groggy and a funeral this afternoon quite knocked me up. We are all very anxious about John Tindsley and Eric Hind, both of whom are in Singapore. Do not forget to remember them, and their parents, in your prayers. We are also, of course, very anxious about the very large number of local lads who are in Lybia.
Lent begins next week and I would ask you, one and all, to approach your Padre and ask him to fix up some kind of reading circle, say on one night each week, so that even in the midst of all the turmoil of war, your minds may be directed towards the real facts of life. To me it really is terrible to think of us going into this war without even a thought of Him Who said "apart from Me, ye can do nothing." And we cannot possibly pray to a God Whom we do not know. The strength of our religion is that it is a rational one, and we have a God who has revealed Himself to us step by step until He gave us the fullest revelation of His Mind in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. So form a reading circle, try and find out God's purpose for man. "Apart from Me", says God, "ye can do nothing." And if we want to win the War we must have God on our side. Plain, blunt words, but very true. I have no space to explain more fully. Show this letter to your Padre and ask him to explain at length.
With my love and my Blessing,
Ever your sincere Friend, L. N. FORSE.

Extracts from Letters.
Pride of place this week goes to a letter from A.B. Seaman Frank McKean R.N., who had the honour, and responsibility, of taking Churchill safely to New York in the Duke of York. Says of the P.M. "I think I can safely say that he enjoyed the trip; I was very lucky to see him a number of times while we were going over. I can heartily say that the Americans, with whom we mixed freely, were all of one mind, and that was that Mr. Churchill is a great MAN. I was lucky to be in a theatre when they showed him speaking at Washington. When he had spoken great bursts of cheering and shouts of “Good Old Winney” very nearly raised the roof. The Americans could not do enough for us. My chum and I were invited to the house of a gentleman and his wife for dinner and social evening. We had a very happy time. We could not have done otherwise for they made us one of themselves as soon as we crossed the doorstep. I showed them the N.L. and they wished me to tell you they deemed themselves highly honoured to have read only a small portion of the work you do for the fighting veterans of our village. I asked them the reason for calling us veterans, explaining that I and others like me, had only been in the Forces for two years. The answer I got was the young men of England have already been through more than the American people and fighting men had experienced in a lifetime. Believe me, sir, I could fill a writing pad of the thoughts and sayings of the American people about England. Christmas morning's Service I am sorry to say, I missed, as I was working on an urgent job: I should very much have liked to be there." Corpl. Hubert Tindsley sends a long typewritten Airgraph from the Middle East dated Jan.7th. Says "I am now getting my N.L. regularly. There was a lull owing to those things called moves. However, this did not prevent me from keeping up-to-date with them for my brother-in-law (George Almond of Croston who is also in the M.E.) saw to it that I did not miss the thrill of receiving them, for he forwarded his copies on to me until communications were opened up again with home. After paying high tribute to the rector he says: "The N.L. seems to be the only one of its kind in the whole of the British Isles, and we are proud of it.” Says that he came across a Padre named Mr.Day, who came from Southport and knows the rector. He took the Services on Christmas Day. Adds that he has just received a letter from a Missionary whom he met when he was camped right in the heart of the jungle in West Africa "and made it possible for us to receive Holy Communion on Christmas Day 1940 right in the heart of that colony" (British West Africa). When writing was in a good station enjoying the privileges of civilisation, cinemas, good cheap food, “and above all we are able to worship God in a delightful little Church." He is in the football team which is itself in a competition. But as he and his brother John played rugger the whole time they were at Hutton Grammer School he is wondering whether his rugger is good enough for the team. Has had two letters from John who is at Singapore, both “Written before the fun started out there." Cpl. Harry Forrest sends an Airoraph from the M.E. in which he says "I can honestly say that I am still enjoying the Army life despite all its hardships and difficulties." Adds that the land (Lybia) may be desolate but is ever so interesting to the lads. Says of the places he is now visiting "I have often heard you refer to these places, sir, when we have met on a Sunday night at Tarleton” Pte. J Power, R.A.O.C., whose calligraphy passes understanding; it really is so very good, says I have just been showing your last week's N.L. to my O.C., and his remarks were "You deserve full credit for your trouble and expense, and the least everyone of the regular receivers can do is to write every few weeks and show some encouragement to you and news for our Comrades who are abroad" He has now been in the Army two years and says it only seems a short time. Is in a most interesting place, but owing to the nature of his work we cannot reveal where he is, or even give a hint. Trooper Harry Devitt has changed his address to a Place where he will find John Harrison, of Holmes. Says that his lot are expecting to go abroad very soon. Last Sunday went to Church with a pal. Says "We were astonished at the size of the Garrison Church and what a lovely building it was. We stayed to Communion. While the men were filing out I tried to estimate the number, and as near as matters there were a thousand." Harry will be interested to know that the rector has often preached in this Garrison Church as when he was in the Army he was stationed in these Barracks, both in Jelalabad and Lucknow. Says he met Roger Watson, and also says that Matt Forshaw of Moss Lane has been on a tank course where he is but he did not see him. The rector's nephew, the Rev.E.J.Forse, who is now an Army Chaplain, well known to most Tarleton lads, writes: "I thought you would like to know that I am shortly going abroad. I am all ready with tropical kit waiting for the word go. Quite a number of Chaplains here at the moment are going to various destinations abroad though we don't know where." Dvr. Harley McKean begins his letter, "No doubt you will gather by the address that I am due to change climate very soon. I am going overseas shortly, having got all my tropical kit. I can assure you that I have not volunteered for this, but I am quite prepared to take my chance along with all the other boys. We are confident that we shall see this thing through for you people at home." Sergt. Ernie Ball Says "It has either rained or snowed or frozen every day. This morning we are paddling about in approx. 8" of snow and more to come." L/Cpl. George Barker says he should have been on the briny by now but for some reason which he does not know, his lot 'missed the bus' so they gave than five days leave to make up for it. Wishes to apologise to Mr.Bert Marsden for not seeing him at the wedding of his wife’s twin sister, but he had to return to his Unit immediately after the ceremony and so missed the breakfast and Bert. Gunner Tom Fazackerley says that he had a rotten journey back from leave and all the trains were late. However, he arrived back with five minutes to spare. Pte.Ken Ogden says the rector’s Christmas Card has just reached him 4 2 42. No fault of the rector but owing to Ken being on the move.

News from the Home Front.
Mrs. Welsh, a comparative newcomer, who lived at White House, Sollom, where Mr. Henry Bridge used to live, died on Thursday and is to be buried at Tarleton on Monday. Mr. John Trafford, (not our own John Trafford from Doctor's Lane, Sollom), who lodged at Rigby's in Coe Lane, died on Friday aged 37 years. His mother was a Hunter from Rufford and he is to be buried there on Tuesday. He was twice married and leaves a widow who has a shop in Preston. He has been ill a long time. The Home Guard had a Whist Drive and Dance in the Schools on Friday night. The Fire service is having a Hot pot and Social evening in the Schools on Monday night. Mr. Worth, the new Verger and School caretaker, is still in the Liverpool Hospital where he has gone for eye treatment. The John Edmondson, the baby son of Mr. & Mrs. John Edmondson, of Fermor Road, who died last week, was one of twins. The other twin is doing well. Mary Baybutt, Oak Farm and Martha Sutton, Sollom, were both "highly commended" in a painting Competition run by the Ormskirk Advertiser. Both Mr. & Mrs. Nutter and Mr. & Mrs. Hambilton have received letters this week from their sons, Herbert and Clifford respectively, saying they are well. Mr. Charles Southworth, Blackgate Lane, who has been playing the organ at Church during Mr. Penn’s indisposition, was taken ill last week. He had been sterilising his greenhouses and it caused him to break out in a rash. Then it turned to congestion of lungs. He is still in bed. Mrs. Hind is taking his place at the organ. The infant son of Mr. Frank Marsden, late of Moss Lane, now the Landlord of the Legh Arms, Mere Brow, is very ill. Mrs. William Benjamin (nee Miss Margaret Rowland) has had a little girl. She is with her husband in the Isle of Man. The local A.R.P. are having a Hot Pot Supper on Wednesday in Garlick's Cafe. William Howard, Coe Lane is being married on Saturday at Aughton, near Ormskirk, to a Miss Rothwell of that village. It is strongly rumoured that Dick Townsley is marrying Miss Alice Rowland within the next few weeks. Mrs. Hind has received a cable from Eric who is at Singapore to say that he is well.


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