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World War II newsletter
March 4th 1942

My dear Lads
The one thing about all your letters to me that really does amaze, and greatly trouble me, is that almost without exception not one of you ever mentions your Chaplain or what he is doing. Whose fault is this I wonder, yours or your Chaplain's? If you don't mind me saying it, I rather suspect that it is yours. From my own personal experience I know what a very difficult task a Chaplain has, and how eagerly he welcomes those who would help him in his work. If, whenever you passed your Chaplain, or Vicar if you are billeted in a town, you just said "Good morning" or "Good night", it would break the ice and would be a great help to him; although the best way, of course, is to go boldly to him and offer help. So please do write to me and say that you have searched out your Chaplain and have got to know him. Make this your Lenten effort.
With every good wish and blessing,
ever your willing friend,

Home Front News.
Mrs. Whittle, wife of Mr. James Whittle, coalmerchant, Coe Lane end, died on Wednesday, aged 77 years. She was buried in old churchyard on Saturday. The baby of Mr. and Mrs. Frankland, Marshes Lane, Mere Brow, was buried at Tarleton on Thursday. The baby was six days old. John Burns, working for Mellings, got a tiny steel splinter in his eye on Tuesday. In pain all night he called, when in Liverpool on Wednesday, at the Eye Hospital and splinter was removed from pupil by means of a magnet. The eye is doing well. O/S Jack Marsden R.N. came home on fortnight's leave on Thursday. He arrived at 11pm. when his parents were in bed, banged the door, Bert thought it was the policeman coming to say his blackout was lightin, went downstairs, found Jack, much rejoicing. Jack had not let his parents know that he even thought of coming home this week. Albert Becconsall (Gorse Lane) and Robert Bond (Mere Brow) joined up on Thursday. Mrs. Latham this week received a cablegram from her son Jimmy, dated Feb 9th, sent from Singapore, saying, “Arrived Malaya. Quite well.” She is still awaiting further news. This makes the 3rd. Tarleton lad known to be on the Mialay peninsula, the others being Eric Hind and John Tindsley. The Home Guard had a social evening in the schools on Wednesday. Wives and sweethearts invited. Songs, harmonicas, a clever conjuror from Southport and Claud, provided the entertainment. Light refreshments. Mrs. Robert Burns has presented her husband with a very fine boy. He is to be called Robert Keith. Under new Government scheme a small committee, rector as chairman, is interviewing lads between 16 and 17 1/2 to see if they are prepared to join some youth organization. Mrs. Charles Ascroft who used to live in white cottage opposite Hesketh Lane post office, died at Blackpool on Thursday at the house of her son Charles, aged 92 years. She was buried at Tarleton on Monday, the rector taking the funeral. Her husband was the brother of old Ned (Coe Lane) and Tommy (Mere Brow). John Ascroft, Marshes Lane, is up for his medical. Mr. Worth begins his duties as Verger, Sexton and School caretaker on Monday. Certain soldiers billeted in the district are being allowed to use Council School shower baths. Matt Sutton has written to his wife saying that he is in the far middle east. The Hambiltons have heard from Clifford (p-o w) who says he is quite well, but hard worked. Starts at 5 a.m., light meal, half hour break for breakfast at 8 a.m., another half hour for dinner at 12 noon, then on to 6 p.m. then tea and rest. Bert Barron, Doctor's Lane, on leave last week, is back again on embarkation leave. On Saturday he borrowed the rector's car, he supplied petrol, and brought his Aunt, Miss Elizabeth Barron from Southport Inifirmary. She is doing well, though far from completely restored.

Extracts from Letters.
A small batch of Overseas mail to hand this week: the first comes from A/C1 Walter Rawsthorne, R.A.F. from Canada. Says it is nice to read the N.Ls and see what all the boys are doing. Went for Christmas to some friends he has in Saskatoon (Canada) and says “By Jove! Did they give us a good time. They fed us so well that I felt I had had enough for the New Year as well. We went to their Church in the morning and to another at night. We went to see something else I had not seen before, an ice hockey match, it was good, but I still prefer the English football." Says also that he has done a good bit of skating. Thanks his friend Tom Rigby for wishing to be remembered to him through the N.L. and returns the compliment and would like to hear from Tom. Marine Leslie Hodson writes from the middle east to say that after three months at sea he is now somewhere in --- . Says he has not received any mail since he left England, not even the N.L. which seems to penetrate even the deepest defences. Wishes to be remembered to Bill Wright and all the lads and asks the rector to let them know his address. Says it takes a time to get used to the currency of the country. Adds that it is winter where he is although it gets very hot towards noon. Finishes by saying that he will write again soon. Dvr. Ronnie Pilkington R.A.S.C. is in the same part of the middle east as is Leslie Hodson but does not appear to have met him yet but he did see a Holmes lad although he did not get a chance of speaking to him (we did not know that there was any Holmes or Mere Brow lad in the M.E. but will try to trace him) Says that he gets about a good deal now although all he sees is great quantities of sand. Asks for the address of Jim Burns who is in the M.E.F. Ends by saying that it is quite a puzzle to know what to write about. A/C Roger Watson (Moss Lane) has changed his address from the far north to the south west of England or Wales. Says the special train that took him south went through Preston but did not stop. The food at his present camp is excelent and the camp itself is better than the one he has left. Says `Even though I have changed my address the N. Ls. continue to reach me. I am more than glad because they contain such a wealth of news.” Goes on "We can't get any soap here for love nor money!! We've seen the Adjutant and the M.O. but neither can help because there are no coupons. It really is amusing, although annoying at times because we got so very oily and dirty at our particular job. Nevertheless up to now I haven‘t seen anyone going about unwashed: It is now a case of S.O.S. Short of Soap, Send Out Soap!! However we survive.” A/C Tom Smith, R.A.F. is on an Advanced Course on Aerodrome Defence in a small town somewhere in the north of England. Says "I think they require every airman to be capable of doing his share until the R.A.F. Regiment is fully trained. Says he will write later and give his re actions to the camp to which he has now gone and to the course of training which he is undergoing. A/C2 Alf Rowland says that he is in a little village very much like Tarleton, with a little Picture Palace "just like ours, but not quite as up to date." There is also a little Church where the lads go on Sunday night and after the Service tea and buns are provided. Wishes to be remembered to Bill Wright and to all the folks in the village. A/C1 William Sutton (Blackgate Lane) sends a letter dated December from aboard ship going east. Says he is enjoying the trip. Has had one call in port and says it was amusing to watch the natives diving for pennies. Says "Sir, you should have heard the language they used it even shook us. Most of them speak fairly good English, and they would change 10/- notes, but the one thing they would not have was the 12 sided threepenny bits”. Had some fun crossing the line. "King and Queen Neptune came on board with their courtiers, Officers and rankers were tried on funny charges read out by an Ensa comedian, before being sentenced they were examined by bogus doctors who found the daftest complaints, and all whether foud guilty or not quite guilty were shaved and washed, and tipped into the water.” Had a fairly good Christmas. went to Church Parade in morning and enjoyed singing the carols. Wishes to be remembered to all old pals, especialy Bert Price, Harry Harrison, Harry Crook, John and Hubert Tindsley and John Pickervance. L/Cpl Tommy Burns, R.A.S.C. is in hospital in a University Town and says “no doubt sir, you could lose me round here if you wanted to, as I've heard you mention this place quite often'". Certainly the rector knows every inch of the place and in his youth walked up the road where the hospital is situated every day for three years. Nothing much wrong with him but he hurt his foot playing football before Christmas and it has given him pain since. Is much better now, so much so that he says "I've had a walk round the town and I think it a very nice place; what do you think sir`? the same I hope". (you’re right first time, Tom). Sends his kindest regards to the boys of the village, especially to his brothers Jim (in the M. F,.F). Dick R.N.; Guardsman George (Irish Guards); and brothers-in-law Trooper George West (Tank Corps) and Sign Harry Forrest, Royal Signals, in M.E.F. Tom Fazackerley writes from the east coast to say that "I have been on 24 hours leave today, and I stayed in bed till dinner when I went a walk and came back and have been resting ever since." Quite a good leave, Hopes to get a job on a farm this summer to keep himself in trim. Pte. Arthur Harrison says he has a regular job now scrubbing potatoes. They used to peel them but an army Order has now come out to say they have to be scrubbed. Says, "I wish you could be in our hut sometime when we are singing hymns, and believe men sir, we have a good choir when we get together. It makes one feel that we are back in our own Churches." Says he hopes the Tarleton lads who were in Singapore are alright. Sends his kind remembrance to Mrs. Wilcox, Mrs Robinson. A.T.S. Vera Iddon now on leave, Maggie, Winnie, Harold Aspey and Jack Robinson.


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