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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
Reproduction by any means strictly prohibited.
War years news letter from home
RECTOR'S WEEKLY NEWS
May 6th 1942

Letter from the Bishop of Blackburn.
The Rt. Reverend. P. M. Herbert D. D.
Bishop's House,
Blackburn.

The Rector most kindly asks me to write you all a message this week, and I am very glad of the chance. I read these letters every week and I know how much you welcome them. They keep you in touch with one another and show that you are in the minds and prayers of those at home. So do remember that you must uphold the good name of Tarleton and your Church while you are away on service. "Serve God and honour the King" is a fine motto for you all. What matters now and always is not only guns, tanks, aeroplanes, but Christian character. We trust you to do your best, and it is for you to trust God. May He bless and keep you always.
Your friend and Bishop,
PERCY BLACKBURN.

Extracts from Letters.
O/S Jack Marsden, R.N, sends a long interesting letter. Says, "We have a parade service here at the Docks, at the Seaman's Mission. One thing about up here is they do keep Sunday, all the pubs are closed and most of the picture places also. We took part in a War ships' week last week. On Saturday we marched to a brass band, but on Monday we were behind the pipes and believe me, sir, you could march all day to those. There were also Polish paratroops there, and believe me, they certainly looked some tough guys. I wouldn't like to be Jerry when they get going. Letter writing is not much in my line, so I think its about time I was slinging my hammock and turning in. Please remember me to all the lads". Gunner Dick Blundell who only joined up a week ago, writes "I think that I shall enjoy this life very much. Today, being the first day, we have done nothing but collect our blankets and sign papers." A/C1 Freddy Pollard has gone north to a fresh station. Writes "Well, here I am on . I am in a hut with a decent crowd of chaps, and we get on well together. Last Saturday evening my pal and I went for a dip in the sea, but it was rather cold. I do not know when I shall be able to see you again but I am afraid it will not be for a while yet. Now I must close as it is bed time." Pte Ken Robshaw has also moved to a new camp and says; "The camp here is O.K. and we are having good food and plenty of it. I have been in the town tonight and there were crowds of people. However l did manage to get to the Pictures and it was quite a good show.” A/C2 Edwin Barron writes "The course for my original trade is now closed, and I am now re mustered to Wireless Operator (Ground). We had a rather good 'Free for all’ concert in the N.A.A.F.I. here. It really is surprising how much talent one can bring to light in such a mixed audience. The star turn was a Corporal Fowler, none other than Arthur Askey's pianist." He goes on to give a very vivid description of hitch-hiking and says that he has now become quite a seasoned "thumber". The Rector who is, in these days, an equally capable and experienced "thumber', agrees with all he says especially when he says "The great thing about hitch-hiking is that you meet a great variety of people who have one distinction in common a readiness to help somebody else - one might almost describe them as ‘hand picked‘. A/C2 Fred Coupe says “We had our first exam in Morse for 4 words a minute last Friday. I am enclosing a photograph of myself for you. I hope you think it a good one (the rector thinks it extremely good and has placed it in the Lady Chapel with the others.) I am on Church Parade on Sunday so I shall not be able to get a day pass home, it is pretty easy to get a day pass on Sunday. Pte Philip Ashcroft begins his letter "This morning I enjoyed the N.L. so much that I had to write and tell you. This week completes three month's stay in this hospital I came here from ---- Military hospital where I was for two months. I feel very sad at all the news we are receiving of our friends who are missing out East. We must pray for them continually, remembering that with God there is neither Space or Time; and that we are united in Him no matter the miles that divide us or the years that keep us apart." Pte Arthur Harrison, Sollom, says "I got back here safely on Saturday night. I was very pleased to have seen you again The boys told me that it was time I was coming back as they had missed the N.L., so it shows you, sir, what good news you send out to us every week. There is one thing about Army Life and that is it makes one feel what coming home really is. Will you please remember me to my sister-in law Miss Vera Iddon and tell her I hope that she will soon be home on her leave now; also to Jack Robinson, Harold Aspey, and all the boys."

In response to many requests, here is just a short prayer that can easily be learnt by heart and said daily for those who are reported missing and prisoners of war.

O Father Almighty, we beseech thee to take into Thy keeping and protection all who are now missing and prisoners of war. Give them special consolations for all they are suffering, and grant them a sure release, Give them courage to maintain the dignity of manhood, and a special experience of Thy Sacred Presence with them in their hour of need. Give thine Angels special charge concerning them, and grant that living, dying or departed this life their souls may be found in thee. And this we ask through Him who suffered and died that we might live, Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

Here again is a very beautiful intercession:-
By thy helpless infancy, Jesu strengthen them.
By thine exile, Jesu visit them.
By thy captivity, Jesu release them.
By thy scourging, Jesu console them.
By thy suffering of mind, Jesu fortify them.
By thine agony, Jesu remember them.
By thy death, Jesu revive them.
By thy return to thy Father, Jesu bring them safely home.

Home Front News.
Just a personal note at the beginning. I have asked several people to write, week by week for the next few weeks, the letter on the front page. These writers will include Mr. Unsworth, the Methodist minister at Tarleton and Mr. Barton the Methodist Minister at Hesketh Lane and Mere Brow, our M.P., Commander Stephen King Hall, and others. This week we begin the series with a letter from the Bishop of the Diocese. Other news: Banks Moss was on fire on Monday night. Four Fire Brigades were called out including our own under the command of Mr. Harry Hodge;. Very little damage done. Mrs Sanderson of Hesketh Lane died on Monday night at Southport Infirmary and was buried at Tarleton on Saturday. The rector took the funeral. She was seventy years of age. Tarleton walls plastered with bills stating that Paulo’s International Circus is coming on Wednesday, for one night only, on the Recreation Field, Gorse Lane. Lockharts elephants, three Australian wizzard riders, trapese stunts etc, John Iddon, Gorse Lane and Hugh Rowland home on embarkation leave. Lettuce selling very well this week. Billy Harrison, home on leave, brought a friend with him. Tomato growers have booked the school for a big meeting to discuss the Government's new distributing scheme. Most of them do not like it. Banns read for first time on Sunday in Church of Gilbert Johnson and Eunice Molyneux. They are to be married at Whitsun. Philip Ashcroft,, junr. of Rufford, has been discharged from the Army owing to ill health. Churchwardens and Sidesmen went to Chorley on Saturday to be "sworn in". The Director of the Air Training Corps has written to the Rector saying that the Regional Commandent has been asked to investigate the possibility of a Squadron being formed in this district with H.Q. at Tarleton. Mr. Sanderson is very seriously ill and is not expected to recover. On Friday evening the Loretto school of Dancing (Principal Miss Halliwell), gave a children's Dance in the Gorse Lane Hall in aid of War Charities. Sunday School Anniversary at the Tarleton Methodist Chapel on Sunday. Seaman William Ball R.N. (Scoot) home for months shore leave after eight month's at sea in foreign waters. Staying with him is his pal from the same ship, named Walker whose home is in South Africa and who is seeing England for the first time. Tarleton Football Team played Croston Home Guard at Croston on Saturday and won 4 1. Mary Pye, Bank Bridge, was married last week at Ormskirk to Petty Officer Sydney George Fleet of Liverpool, who is at present doing specialised work in the Royal Navy. The Post Office, as previously reported, having moved to John Hunter's in Blackgate Lane, several people have asked the rector to petition the Postmaster General to have a pillar-box placed somewhere near the Co-op.

 
 

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