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Newsletter from the war
May 20th 1942

Letter from Commander Stephen King Hall, M.P.
(Our member of Parliament.)

House of Commons.

My Dear Lads,
The Rector has asked me to send you a message. It gives me the greatest pleasure to accept this invitation. I am your member of Parliament. For twenty years I was in the Navy. I should not like to tell you what Naval Officers thought about politicians, and I dare say you think they are - well, we’ll leave it at that! Now democracy won’t work unless politics and politicians are respected. If politics stink, democracy is finished. When the war is over it will be your job to take an interest in public affairs, and to take care to send back to parliament men of character, of honesty and sincerity. Men who will attack rackets and corruption. Only by this means can we make a New Britain worthy of the memory of those who have died that we might live.
Good Luck, and if you are anywhere near the Houses of Commons come in and see me,
Yours sincerely

Home Front News.
We are much indebted to our Member of Parliament for sparing the time to write this week’s front page letter. He wrote it in pencil in the train rushing back from Ormskirk to take part in discussions in the House of Commons. In a covering letter he says "Dear Rector, I hope to come and call on you in the not to distant future“. The Bishop of Blackburn has sent a letter to every parish in the Diocese thanking the people for all the kindness and friendliness that has been shown to him and Mrs Herbert during the fifteen years he has been our Bishop. We congratulate Dick Rymer, Hesketh Lane, on being promoted from Pilot Officer to Flying Officer. As stated last week he is now home on leave, and is at present on a visit to his fiancee in Shropshire. He flew home from the near middle east. Gunner Philip Rigby (Fermor Road) is home on embarcation leave. Harry Schwartzman (Mere Brow) is a steward on a merchantman. He is home for a few days. William Dobson (Kearsley Avenue) joined the navy on Wednesday. Fred Taylor (Hesketh Lane) joins the R. A.S.C. this week; John Hornby (Fermor Road) joins the R.A. on Thursday. William Parkinson, John Iddon (Carr Lane), Alfred Rowland and Roger Watson have returned to their units after embarkation leave. Leslie Carr, (Bretherton), who married Alice Bentham is home on leave. Banns of Marriage called out on Sunday for the first time between William James Taylor, Widower, of Bretherton, and Ellen Wallbank, spinster, (Kearsley Avenue.) Last week Mere Brow schools collected 310 eggs for Southport Infirmary and the Church Schools at Tarleton collected over 500 eggs for the same Institution. Paulo’s Circus on Recreation Field for one night only. All who went say that it was very good, Holmes Chapel kept their Sunday School Anniversary on Sunday last. Mrs Harry Lund, Meolsgate Avenue, mother of John Lund, the butcher, died on Wednesday last and was buried at Tarleton on Monday. She was 67 years of age. The Home Guard Room has been re-painted and done up. Mr Robert Rowland did the work. Lettuce sold extremely well last week. Indoor is now finished and outdoor is coming on the market. A branch of the Tomato Growers Association has just been formed in Tarleton. John Ashton, New Road, is the Secretary. Roger Ward has been home on leave. Billy Molyneux has been discharged from the R.A.F. on medical grounds. He is now at home. Mrs Vickers (nee Peggy Stazicker) had a little boy last week her first child. Mr Fred Webster’s Will was in the Lancashire Daily Post on Saturday, From this we learn the gross amount of his estate is £19,730. He has left £50 to Tarleton Parish Church, £25 to Tarleton Wesleyan Chapel, £50 to Preston Royal Infirmary. His interest in his business he has left on Trust to his brother Harold with remainder to his sons; residue in Trust to his wife, eventually to go to his nephews and nieces. On Saturday morning some soldiers on manoeuvres had the task of defending the Cock and Bottle with fixed bayonets. As far as we know the defence was successful, so the attackers could not have been so thirsty.

Engineer Officer John Hague writes from his ship "Flying fish can be seen skimming just above the water, and occasionally dolphins are to be seen. We had an albatross with us that followed us for days. During our stay in Singapore we passed through several big air raids and saw as many as sixty Jap planes hovering overhead at once. Twice they rained down bombs on us which fell about 200 yds. away into the water. Here I met quite a few Lancashire lads from as near as Wigan and Preston. All were in good spirits. So far I have had news from home only once a telegram in Singapore, so how you are faring I don’t know. Your N.L. must be nice receiving regularly. I am afraid that mine always come in a batch. I will write to you from the next port; maybe I shall have a little more news then. Please give my best wishes to all the lads.” Trooper Richard Parker (Hesketh Lane) begins his airgraph from the Middle East " I don't know how to begin this letter because I have delayed so long, especially as I get so much pleasure from your N.L. I can’t say that I enjoy being out here. Under different circumstances it would have been quite interesting, though some of the sights (the pyramids etc) are very disappointing. Now that I have written I will try to continue writing as often as possible.“ Pte Lewis Clark says “I am writing these few lines as I promised. There is a lad in our platoon who comes from Bretherton, but there is no one from Tarleton. I am not doing so badly here, but would rather be at home (So say all the lads, Lewis, a bit of patience and the good time will come) Sergt. Ernie Ball writes “ The weather here is lovely. I have some candidates for the O.O.T.U. attached here for training in transport, but they are more of a nuisance than a help. We had the Colonel round today inspecting the vehicles and camouflage, and we had an excellent report about it all." L/Cpl George Barker R.E. says “We are still on the same job of camp erection in a very small village. The four means of transport are all within a radius of 150 yds. Road, Rail, Canal and Trams, so you see we do get an eyeful here, ` I still have Norman Barron and Jack Gidlow here and now I have heard that Dan Johnson from Holmes is only 4 miles away. An application has been made for my release for a month's agricultural leave.” Rifleman Charlie Wright, who is in a Scottish Regiment encloses in his letter a very good photograph which shows him wearing a most magnificent Glengarry. Says "I was sorry that I did not get to see you when home on leave as I brought my Scotch girl friend home with me as she wanted to have a look at all my home folk before we went back, and that took up a large part of the time. I am still in the stores and batman, too but everyone has his share in this camp. It is not often we can get out, twice a week at the most, as we are always standing to for air raids and guards.” A /C2 Fred Coupe writes “We have now started our arms drill and musketry training. Please remember me to Roger Watson who I understand is now on the high seas (he is Fred) Also to Malcolm Parkinson who is in Canada”. A/C2 Tom Southworth writes, “ I have just completed my course as a wireless mechanic, and am now posted to an operational Unit. I find life here to be a big contrast to what it was as a trainee and it is definitely a change for the better. I consider myself very fortunate in being posted to this Unit, as it is the sort of job which, during my training, I used to think I would like to have, but which I never hoped to get. My duties are entirely technical, we only have one parade a week, and I am thankful to say that I do not even have to do guards which I consider monotonous. We do not have a padre attached to this Station, but we were visited on Sunday by a padre whose job it is to go round the outlying camps. On Sunday he told us it was his seventh camp to be visited on that day. He suggested that instead of the usual Service we had an informal discussion, and it proved very interesting. He said amongst other things that he did not think we were a Christian country, which is a thought provoking opinion, and, if correct, a sorry state of' affairs if we are hoping to win this war.” ( Thanks Tom, I am afraid that the extract is rather long but it is all so interesting that it could not be shortened without losing its effect) Gunner Harry Harrison says about the N.L. “Many of my pals here say no letter to-day Harry. If it comes leave it in our room so that we can read it when we come in. Our time for Lights Out is 10.15. But if the N.L. is waiting for them it is nearer 11.15. They enjoy reading them so much. It is a most lovely place here, sir. I used to sit by the wireless back home and listen the nightingale being broadcast from a Surrey wood, never dreaming that I would one day be listening for them in Surrey; but so far I have heard nothing; only the Cuckoo and an owl or a Woodpigeon." Dvr. William Harrison writes from overseas to say "It is Sunday morning and I have just come back from Church. Today we had a very big Church Parade, and then we had a march past. We all wondered what they were having a big parade for this morning, but when she got to Church this morning the Padre told us he was leaving us.


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