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Newsletter from WWII
June 4th 1942

My Dear Lads,
Here I am once more back on the front page, and I can assure you that I an very thankful to be so. Although I always write all the rest of the N.L. myself, I really do feel the loss of that personal contact which I seem to get in writing the letter. However I know you all enjoyed having a word from the Bishop and Mr. Barton and Mr Unsworth, and I hope to get them to write to you again, together with some others, in the near future. When I am writing I can almost see you all in front of me, and this enables my letters to be more personal and intimate. This week I have had to leave a few letters unanswered but I will do my very best to get them all in the N.L. next week. There are still a few who rarely write to me and I should appreciate a few words from them. They get the N.L. as regularly as the rest and I feel sure that those who do write would like to hear something about them. The N.L. would be a sorry concern without the “Extracts from Letters” and all should consider it a duty to contribute to this. Well, my number of words are up and so I must finish, With my love, my prayers and my Blessing, ever your affectionate friend,
P. S. I hope to get round, probably on a bicycle, to see a few of you when I am down in the South in a week’s time. I intend to hitch hike as well as bike, coming down to London by train.

Ada Wait, Sutton Avenue, was married to John Ashcroft, Hall Lane Longton, on Thursday, in Tarleton Parish Church. Rector officiated. Reception and Wedding Breakfast at Garlicks. Dvr. Joe Wait was best man, but Sergeant Edgar Wait could not get away. A Squadron of the A.T.C. has been formed in Tarleton with Mr. Peters as the Commanding Officer. It will serve Tarleton, Hoole, Hesketh Bank, Rufford and Bretherton. Mr. James Brookes, the father of Mrs. Ritchings, New Road, died on Friday aged 76 years, and was buried at Tarleton on Monday. The Sunday School Tea Party will be held on June 20th. Silcocks have promised to bring their round a-bouts etc. There will be no public tea, but we are trying to get a band for the procession. The Tarleton Scholarship examination will be held on Friday next in the Parish Room. Good outdoor lettuce are selling at 4/ and early tomatoes are ready on the market. Apologies to Dick Johnson in the Middle East for calling him Dick Iddon in last week's N.L., but everyone would have known who was meant. Tomato Growers Association had another packed meeting in the schools on Friday evening. Rector received calls from Sergeant Jimmy Leacy, Flight Officer Dick Rymer and Gdsm. Harry Crook, all on leave this week. A special A.R.P. film was shown in the schools on Monday evening. Admission free: open to public. James Leather, son of the late Landlord of the Black Horse, Hoole, was married at Hoole Parish Church on Saturday to an Eccles girl. James is a policeman at Eccles. Local N.F.S. Sports Day on Recreation Field on Saturday. Teams from Tarleton, Rufford., Holmeswood, Mere Brow and Hesketh Bank competed. Dry Competition (Hose drill without water) won by Mere Brow A. Team; Wet Competition (same with water from canvas cisterns borrowed from Southport), won by Holmeswood; Obstacle race, Percy Sanderson; Tug of war, Tarleton; Sack race, Harold Johnson. Over £7 was taken in collection on field. Rufford Band in attendance. A little boy named Perry, a Liverpool evacuee living opposite Hesketh Bank new Church in one of Fred Webster’s houses, were drowned on Saturday afternoon in a gully on Hesketh marsh at the bottom of Becconsall Lane, by the old boathouse. He was about 8 years old. Jack Edmondson home for seven days. Tom Tindsley home for seven days. Dick Burns home for week end. Traffic lights at Windgate knocked down by lorry for about the sixth time this year.

Dvr. Fred Taylor Hesketh Lane, who joined up last week writes, “Just a few lines to let you know that I arrived safely. We have been at it all the morning so I have only just time to write to you. Will send you some news as soon as I get some.” Gunner Dick Blundell says "I don’t want to miss the welcome N.L. Please thank the Mothers‘ Union for the 5/ , scarf etc, The hills round here are very steep and numerous, but the scenery is lovely. Please remember me to Stan Quinlan, John Iddon (Gorse Lane,) and Alf and Hugh Rowland." A.C. Tom Parkinson writes "I appreciate the different letters on the front page for it gives one some idea of what other Ministers think of the lads away from home. I have had a short talk to the Padre at last. It was only a short one but I had an N.L. in my pocket so I showed it to him and he said that the Bishop’s letter was a great inspiration to all of us lads and to everyone at home. The Padre's name is Glyn Davies and is quite a nice and homely chap to talk to. I was pleased to hear of the choice of Arthur Dandy for Churchwarden. I wish to be remembered to all from the village who are in the Forces, Sunday School Teachers and Scholars, and I hope that it will not be long before I am able to assist you all I can,” Sergeant Nick Dewhurst, Scots Guards, says "I notice in the N.L. that Harry Harrison, who by the way is only a few miles away from me, seems rather disappointed at not having heard the nightingale sing." He then passes this on Harry (Are you listening Harry?) "Well Harry I have been among the woods of Surrey just over two years and I have’nt heard the cuckoo yet, all we hear are bugles, pipes and guns but I am quite happy amongst it all. Please pass on my kind regards to all." (Note,- The Rectory garden seems full of cuckoos this year and they make a terrible din). AC2 Freddy Coupe writes "Well, in one month’s time I shall be passing out for my musketry and Arms drill and shortly after that I shall be due for my seven day’s leave. Last week I fired on the miniature range and scored 39 points out of a possible 50: The weather has been pretty awful and the holiday makers will get soaked, and there are plenty in -”. Telegraphist Bert Fawke, R.N. writes "If you ever want to forget there’s a war on come to ---. Like Dick Blundell’s Sergt. Major, our C.P.Os and P.Os are as good as fathers to us and almost lead us about by the hand. We get good food. I go on my wireless course next Saturday, and I expect to be sent to a wireless collage in --- for six months. We will be billeted out and consequently will have no parades or Divisions as they are called in the Navy. We have Divisions here at 8.25 a.m. at which, after doubling round our Mess, we say prayers, led by a Naval Chaplain.” Pte. F. Hewitson (Hoole) begins his letter “I sit down to begin this letter just after completing two hours “ spud-bashing”. I do not expect that you (i.e. the rector ) will remember that you initiated me into the game of Lexicon on the return train journey of the Schools' trip to London in Jubilee year. I think that it is an excellent idea, to have one or two outsiders convey their message to us lads; the Bishop makes an excellent start. I enclose p.o. for 5/ which will help to provide a few stamps in such a splendid cause. I should like to be remembered to all my friends amongst the boys, too numerous to mention, who receive the N.L. ( Note;- Frank Hewitson is a member of Hoole Church Choir, is a Clerk in the County Offices, and is cousin to Ted and Alec Barnish and and also of Ronnie Sergeant. A.B. John Iddon, R.N., says “The Jan. and Feb. mails have been delayed and that explains why I have only just received them. Jimmy Burns and Nick Forshaw are great friends of mine and some time ago I had a few days with Nick at Plymouth. A few weeks ago I had hoped to meet a friend of mine (Billy Ball, Moss Lane) in America, but he had left just before we arrived. ACL. Tom Smith says of the place in which he is billeted “It’s villages are more picturesque than those of Lancashire, but in the people themselves I miss the warmth of feeling and sense of welcome homeliness which characterises the northern counties. Snobbery is fashionable and to be “county” is the peak of the average inhabitant's ambitions. Of course there are many really decent people about. This morning I attended Church in camp here and thoroughly enjoyed the short service. These services do help to remind us of the things we are apt to forget in the rush and bustle of service life.“ Sapper Tom Johnson (Ronnie Johnson’s brother) writes “I cannot discuss the training as it is considered hush-hush. But I can say that we did a lot of Infantry training, such as swimming rivers with our equipment wrapped in our ground sheets and going over assault courses while gunners fired the Bren and Tommy gun all around us, with a few hand grenades tossed in front of us, about 25yds away. Harry Harrison says in the N.L. that he has not heard the nightingale yet. He wants to come to Hampshire. I have lain in bed scores of times listening to them.” Dvr. John Iddon (Gorse Lane) writes "It is grand here. I wish we were stopping until the end of the war; you can go to the pictures every day if you want to, and there are five canteens in the town. Please give my love to all the lads.” Pte Arthur Harrison sates, "I was pleased to hear that the Bishop of Blackburn had so kindly given us a few encouraging words. It is very nice and good of him.” He goes on to sate that a friend of his, John Pilkington, who was in the R.A.F. and who lives opposite the Rose and Crown at Ulnes Walton, was seriously wounded when a plane made a bad landing. Finishes his letter "It's a lovely morning, I only wish I was coming to Tarleton Church.


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