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War news
May 14th 1942

Letter from the Rev. W. B. Barton
Methodist Minister serving Tarleton and Banks.

The Manse,

My dear Friends,
As a Methodist minister, the rector has asked me to write a few lines. I appreciate his kindly thought and am glad to be able to send you my warmest greetings. I hear of a strange disease called 'browned off''. It seems to afflict serving men who are ready and eager to do something but never seem to get the chance. If you are a sufferer, you have my sympathy. "You are all dressed up, and nowhere to go". It is a wretched feeling and a dangerous one, too. For it can tempt you to get careless about the "dressing up", and then when there is somewhere to go, you may not be ready. There is a right time for everything and sometimes it can be long delayed. Our business is to combine patience with readiness. It is the problem of our spiritual life, too. We pray; read our Bible; attend Church; share in the Service of Holy Communion; yet nothing seems to happen. We do not hear God calling us to do anything; are not aware of any great trials. Life goes along much as usual. We long to do something but no clear demand is made upon us. Here is the danger point. We begin to get slack and, sure enough, when we do, along comes some great chance or fierce temptation and we are '"counted out''. We must learn to carry on, steadily building up our resources and learning the art of spiritual warfare assured that when the right time does come, God will call us to action. Yours sincerely,

Home Front News.
Personal Note: The letter on the front page this week has been written by Mr. Barton, the Methodist Minister who serves the Chapels at Banks, Hesketh Bank, Hesketh Lane and Mere Brow. He told the rector that he was very pleased to have this opportunity of approaching the lads who attend one or other of his Chapels. Next week Mr. Unsworth of Croston has promised to write the letter. Mr. George Barker Sanderson, Hesketh Lane, father of Percy Sanderson, died on Tuesday and was buried on Saturday in Tarleton Churchyard. Like his wife who died last week he was 70 years of age. He was born exactly eleven days after his wife and died eleven days after her. Some stubble caught fire at Holmeswood on Monday night and the Tarleton N.F.S. Fire Brigade, commanded by Mr. Harry Hodge, were called out and quickly extinguished it. Harry Rigby, Fermor Road, is home for fourteen days embarkation leave. Hugh Bridge, son of Henry Bridge who used to live at White House, Sollom, and now lives at Banbury, has been called up to the Army. Lettuce slumped again this week mostly owing to everyone emptying their greenhouses to make room for the tomato crop. Mrs. Wright, Kearsley Avenue, has received a cable from her son, Marine William Wright saying that he is now in the Middle East. His home mate, Marine Leslie Hodson is already there, but so far no one has heard that they have met. Last week it will be remembered that the rector had a letter from Leslie. The engagement is announced of Ruth Howard of Sollom to Richard Baldwin of Midge Hall whose brother married Annie Prescott of Carr Lane. Pilot Officer Dick Rymer, Hesketh Lane, who was with his Squadron in the near middle east, is now home on leave. He flew home. The Croston Division of the Lancashire Special Constables held a Dance on Friday evening in the Gorse Lane Hall on behalf of Charities. It was so crowded that nobody could really enjoy dancing. A steam engine with a tar sprayer on trail, going down Church brow, trailer broke loose and ran into light van coming up the hill. No serious damage was done. Group Captain J.C. Halahan, Adjutant of the A.T.C. Regional H.Q., called on the rector on Thursday to discuss the forming of an A.T.C. Squadron in Tarleton and District. It is for boys of 15 1/2 to18 years. We have to find 100 boys from Tarleton, Rufford, Hoole and Hesketh Bank. Dr. and Mrs. Croft are now receiving letters from their son Capt. Fred Croft, R.A., who is a prisoner of war in Italy. 2nd.Lieut.Eric Hind, who was at Singapore is now in India. Dr. Herbert, our Bishop (Blackburn) who wrote the front page letter last week, has now been transferred to the See of Norwich. Hesketh Bank Navy is now home on leave. Seaman Will Ball, (Scoot) Moss Lane, brought up 7 sailor lads in the Green Bus on Friday, but not all were Hesket Bonkers. Will those who have not written to the rector for some time please make good the omission. Just a few lines to pass on to the other lads. Remember, they all want to hear from you and know what you are doing. Pte. Ken. Robshaw came home quite unexpectedly on Tuesday, on embarkation leave. Dvr. John Iddon (Gorse Lane),is also home on embarkation leave.

Extracts from Letters.
Sergt. Jimmy Leacy, C.M.P., writes "After weeks of silence I am at last able to catch up with my correspondence. I am back at my Coy H.Q. after attending still another course; this time on weapon training, and I may say on very modern lines. There is a general trend in the Army now to forget spit and polish and to concentrate on training that will win the war. The outcome of this course is that I am now a qualified Instructor in Small Arms Training. Before leaving this subject I want to supply without comment the motto of this particular School. This is “Learn to kill, or be killed." Marine Kenneth Nicholson who is ''far, far away", writes "Having received a mail yesterday on our arrival in harbour, after reading the latest N.L. I must let you know how we are getting on, I can safely say that my letters travel a little bit farther than the average man's mail from Tarleton. I have seen some strange countries, far flung outposts of our Empire, small islands dotted about the oceans that only the Navy ever come in contact with. When we first arrived eleven months ago the temperature was as high as 120° at noon, and even now we reach 100. You can't sleep in your hammock at night because you are running with sweat. It is over a year since I left England and I don't think I shall ever get used to the heat. Thank you for the Christmas card. I received it on 19/3/42. Dvr. Albert Becconsall (Gorse Lane) writes, after the usual thanks for the N.L. "We get a bit of Commando training. As far as I know I am the only man here from Tarleton. There is an intake every fortnight of 120, and so this is a very busy place. O/S Dick Burns, R.N. says “I am still on my course and from what I get to know from the boys we are here until July, but that won' t worry me. Please thank the M.U. for the 5/ forwarded to me a few weeks ago, and also please remember me through the N.L. to my brothers, Jim, Tom, George, and my brothers in law George West and Harry Forrest and all my pals on active Service'". Adds as a P.S. "I wish to take this opportunity of asking you to say a few prayers for my Father who died suddenly on May 11th. 1941; on behalf of my brothers in the middle east, as it may not be convenient for them to attend Church." (the rector assures all the Burns family that Prayers were said in Church, on their behalf, for the repose of the Soul of the late Patrick Burns.) Gunner Dick Blundell writes, "I am enjoying Amy life very much, we have every modern convenience here including hot and cold shower baths, slipper baths etc. Including the A.T.S. there are 6,000 of us, so you can see we want watching. We have the best of Officers and N.C.Os. each one is willing to help whenever necessary; I suppose you have heard things said about Sergeant Majors, well I don' t think if you went all round 210 barracks you would find a wrong word about ours. Remember me to Corpl Jimmy's Holmes' Guard'. A/C2 Jack Edmondson says “At last I have managed to get my photograph taken. This was my third sitting, the previous two were unsuccessful. After having seen the photograph you will know the reason why the camera broke. From now on the Chapel will be a “Rouge’s Gallery” ( You’re wrong Jack, the photo does you credit and makes you look like an angel), I was marching by the Air Commodore this morning with collar and tie, jacket and gas mask on. I felt like one of those statues under a water fountain. So far we have had exams in Mathematics and anti gas which all the squadron passed. I hope we all do the same in navigation, morse and aircraft recognition." Pte Kenneth Robshaw begins his letter “Just a few lines to let you know that I have changed my Regiment. I am very sorry to get out of the Loyals but it is through the draft. I am getting very good food and plenty of it, and we have some kind of a show, pictures, or dancing every evening.They look well after the lads here. I am hoping to get home even though for a few hours before I sail. Will you please remember me to all the lads”. Corpl Robert Moss gives a very good description of the beautiful part of the country where his camp is situated. Says, “As one walks down the country lanes it breaks the monotony of camp life, for as a rule our camps are surrounded by barbed wire. This place seems to give one a sense of freedom. We are quite busy flying, due to the excellent weather.” Pte Jack Parker, R.A.M.C., begins “Another new address! We are here for training. What on earth we have been doing for the past 2 1/2 years is beyond me. The camp is miles from anywhere, in the middle of a forest, and we have three tracks connecting us with civilisation". He goes on to say that his brother Syd is a prisoner of war in Lybia. He was taken in Lybia. He has three other Liverpool men in the tent with him, and can send one letter and one post card home per week. Gunner Tom Fazackerley says: "We had a cross country run to day, and I wasn't first by a long chalk. Perhaps if they had about turned I might have been first. We went through some lovely woods, and it was a grand sight, primroses, violets and bluebells all out at once. You will be interested to know that we have already won one prize with our garden, the Battery Prize, £1., and a small silver cup. The big prize is for the whole Regiment and we are working hard for it.


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