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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
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War newsletter from home
April 16th 1942

My dear Lads,
When you turn overleaf you will find that there has been so much in the way of "Home Front” news that a few letters have failed to receive answers. However I hope that that will be put right next week. As you will see Tarleton has been fairly busy this Easter. For the last two years I have had the pleasure of paying visits to the lads away in England but this year I cannot do so owing to petrol shortage. So many live in out of the way billets that it is impossible to get round by train, or even bus. However, I do hope to get a short holiday a little later and I intend to stay at certain centres and see as many of you as I possibly can in this way. I might even arrange for a few billeted within a reasonable radius to meet me at some town and have a meal together. I am working it out and will let you know what can be done in this direction. The one thing, of course, is to keep us all together. And while this thought is in my mind may I ask you not to forget to pray for those of our comrades who are missing and prisoners of war, that God, of His goodness, will give them courage and hope and bring them back again in safety to those who love them.
With my Blessing and my love,

Home Front News.
Jack Edmondson, brother of Will Edmondson, the painter, and of Mrs. Kennedy, who kept a Fish and Chip Shop in the deserts at Croston, died suddenly on Monday night. Last week none of the taps in the row of houses at Sollom known by the various names Pepperhilloch, Smithy Houses and Mount Pleasant, would produce any water. The West Lancs R.D.C. was informed, and along came their watermain expert, Dick Pickervance, to investigate. He found that a small fish with a large head had got into the small pipe leading from the main to the houses, and had thus stopped the flow of water. Being Lent it would have been very convenient if fish and water had come out with alternate turns of the tap. At the Easter Vestry meeting Mr. Arthur Dandy was appointed People‘s warden in the place of the late Mr. Fred Webster. He is our Sunday School Superintendent. John Webster and Harry Edmondson were appointed to the list of Sidesmen. Seaman Will Ball, R.N. is now home on leave. Gdsn Kenneth Watkinson, who used to live in Kearsley Ave., and now lives at Longton, came over to Tarleton while on leave last week. Bert Faulks, whose parents are now living at Plox Brow, has had his papers' and is joining the Navy next week. Dick Blundell, Johnson's Lane, has been called up and is joining the Army this week. Roy Maggee, who married Muriel Harrison, has been discharged owing to ill health. Tarleton N.F.S. under the command of Mr. Harry Hodge, has now forty members. This week they have been fitted out with complete uniforms and equipment. John Hornby, H.B. mentioned last week as seriously ill, died at the week end. Information given in last week's issue concerning Arthur Parkinson, younger son of Mr. Herbert Parkinson, Moss Lane, was slightly inaccurate. He is at Reading University studying his B.Sc Degree in Horticulture, and the Army course he took was the O.T.C. connected with the University. He has just returned from manoeuvres in Berkshire. The A.R.P. Wardens at H.B., under the command of Chief Warden Mr. Herbert Parkinson, Moss Lane, raised £40 last week for the H.B. Comforts Funds. Miss Cropper, Chapel Lane, was the secretary of the event. Mrs. Dick Harrison, Kearsley Ave., has been officially informed that her husband was in Singapore when it capitulated, and has been posted as missing. Another correction to last week's issue; the baby born to Mr. and Mrs. Will Taylor, (Blackgate Lane) was a boy and not a girl as stated. Sergeant Ernie Ball was married on Saturday to Constance Maher of Luton, Beds, in Tarleton Parish Church. His father's house in Gorse Lane being full up with guests, Ernie stayed at the rectory the night before the wedding. The Bride's father gave her away and two sisters were amongst the bridesmaids. Bridesmaids carried ivory covered Prayer Books in place of bouquets. Bride in white with long veil. Reception and Wedding breakfast at Garlicks. A Squadron of Southport A.T.C. visited Tarleton on Saturday afternoon. Bunting, flags and Venetian masts along Church Rd. in front of schools. Mayor of Southport in top hat and Chain of office.

Extracts from Letters.
Pte Matt Sutton sends an airgraph from Iraq to say "Just a line to let you know that I have arrived safely and am not finding things too bad. I have already received 5 N.Ls and two Parish Magazines which I think is not too bad, after spending only a few weeks in this country. I wonder if you would mind thanking the Mothers' Union for the 5/ which my wife forwarded on to me. We have decent canteen here, pictures twice a week and a trip to the nearest town once a week.” From Dvr Walter Moss in the middle east comes another airgraph saying that he gets the N.L. regularly but having been away from Tarleton so long he married a Croston girl and went to live there he does not know all the lads who are mentioned. A long Air Mail letter comes from Sapper Richard Johnson (Dick),from the middle east. It is dated March 17th. Among other items he says "A few days ago we went away on a course, but the only snag in it was that it did not last long enough for it was quite interesting and there was plenty of time for swimming afterwards. Perhaps it may seem strange to you to go swimming in March but, believe me, it was quite hot. One or two of the N.Ls get delayed, but taking them all round they turn up pretty well, for which I am thankful as they contain more news than you could get in an ordinary letter. A/C W. Riding (New Road) says "I think this the coldest place I have been to; it reminds me of home being so flat and trees growing as it were in bunches typical of 'united we stand, divided we fall,' each upholding the other in times of stress and trouble. I went to H.C. this morning at 7 o'clock, quite a number being present considering the great difficulties in attending; getting dressed in the dark,etc. They are a decent lot of lads where I am now, and the Y.M.C.A. caters for various tastes by organizing discussion groups on subjects ranging from Ghosts to next Thursday's speech on 'What would Christ do"'. A/C1 Tom Smith (Hesketh Lane) says "For the past 5 or 6 weeks I have not received a copy of the N.L. I feel that I am losing touch with current affairs in Tarleton as during the time that I was in receipt of it regularly, I found myself looking forward eagerly to its appearance." (We can assure Tom that the N.L. has been regularly mailed to him week by week and cannot understand its non arrival). Says of his station "The station itself is an Advanced Training Unit where pilots acquaint themselves with the handling of twin engine aircraft. Much of the flying is done at night and in good weather our planes are roaring through the sky for 24 hrs out of 24. We work mostly from dawn till dark and get one day off per week. The food here is excellent." Dvr.Tommy Burns writes "Just a few lines to say that I've been discharged from hospital and am now having a few days in the Convalescent Home which is only a few minutes walk away." Goes on to say that he has had quite a good time while in hospital and thinks that Cambridge is a delightful place, as, of course, does the rector. Hopes to get convalescent leave next week. His brother, Corporal Jimmy Burns, sends a long Air Mail letter from the middle east. Says "I do not know if you receive my letters or not but I have written you one each week. As I do not see my name in the N.L. I suppose you must not get them. I get the N.L. regularly and would not like to be without one myself, so you can bank on me dropping you a line every week if I get the N.L. or not." (Thanks, Jimmy, but we can assure you that the N.L. has been sent to you regularly every week without fail, and only suppose that the fishes are finding them equally interesting to read). Goes on to ask the rector if he got the photo of himself that he sent. (Yes,Jimmy, and it is now amongst those of your schoolmates in the Lady Chapel in Church. We acknowledged its receipt in the following N.L. However, again many thanks for it, you look the picture of health, and it is a good photo). Says "Well, sir, I am still in the same old town, and still with young Dick Sephton from Rufford, and young Taylor from Southport, so I am not on my own. I have been in touch with Frank Foster by letter, and have had a letter from my sister's husband Harry Forest and he is about 700 miles away.” (Note, all these lads are in the middle east). Wishes to be remembered to all the lads in Hoole, Tarleton, and H.B. and his brothers Dick, R.N., Gdsn. George, and Dvr. Tom, also to Tpr. George West, Dvrs. Bert Price and Harry Cookson, Sergt Jimmy Leacy, Gdsn Harry Crook and Gunner Dan Stazicker. Gunner John Ball has changed his address. Says "we are not allowed out of camp at night after 7 o’clock because we have to man the guns. The day before we left I met Edwin Johnson, from Holmes, Mere Brow, I was going to meet him again on following Saturday but we moved in the meantime". Wishes to be remembered to all the lads in the Forces. Corpl. John Houghton, (the Ormskirk Advertiser reporter) writes "I do want to thank you for the regular receipt of the N.L. which contains such interesting items of news. It may be of interest to you to know that the N.L. goes all round the Orderly room. Regularly every week the Draughtsman from our Drawing Office (Doug. Turner) comes down and calls out "Has the N.L. come yet".


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