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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
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News from home during the war
July 9th 1942

Letter from Beryldene,

Mr. And Mrs. George Formby.
Little Singleton,
Nr. Blackpool.

Dear Boys,
Mr. Formby and I are able, through the kindness of your rector, to send you all a message of good luck, and we hope good cheer. It is nice to be able to write to you all in this way, and be able to find you all in whatever part of the world you are. We hope that you are all keeping well. We know that you are certainly all doing a grand job of work wherever you are, and both George and I are only to sorry we can’t be with you. We have had the pleasure of being with some of you while we have been entertaining the troops in the different countries to which we have already been; and we are only too sorry that we have not enough George to go round. He no sooner gets to one part than he is wanted in another, and off we have to dash again anyhow I know we shall be paying you a visit one of those days.
We have recently returned from Northern Ireland where we have been doing five shows a day for the lads there, then on to Scapa where, I suppose, we shall do the same thing. We only wish that they would allow us to come out to the middle east anyway they might before long, and then Whoopee!!
Well lads, here’s wishing you all the luck in the world, and a safe return for you all to the home country, and the ones you love and who love you.
Ever yours faithfully,
Beryl and George Formby.

Mr. Wm. Lyons, shot a vixen and five cubs in the wood at the end of Engine Lane, Holmeswood, on Friday. The fox, so far, is still at large. As readers of the N.L. will know they have been robbing hen roosts for some time, along the canal bank from Sollom to Rufford. The question now to be settled is, "Has old Reynard any more wives with equally large families in the district?" Robert McLeod’s (Blackgate Lane) mother died and was buried at Croston last week. A.C. Freddy Pollard, .R.A.F., flew home on Tuesday for nine days leave. As he is allowed travelling time, (four days),he thus gains two days on the nine. A.T.S. Martha West came home on leave last Monday, was taken ill next day and has been removed to a Military Hospital near Fulwood. Mrs. Johnson his received an airgraph from her son Sapper Dick Johnson saying that he has lost all his belongings in Lybia This is the second time Dick has been in these straits; he lost everything belonging to him at Dunkirk. With next week’s N.L. we are sending a special supplement containing the names of all the lads and lasses who have joined up from Tarleton. Commander King-Hall came to Tarleton on Monday evening and visited all the units engaged on National Service. Norman Barron was home on leave last week. Ronnie Knight joins up this week. James Harrison, Kearsley Avenue, Bert Melling and John Wignall of Rufford, son of the West Lancs. Surveyor have all gone to the same R.A. Depot. John Robinson returned to his Unit from nine days leave last Thursday, Mrs. Nehemiah Robey (nee Mary Sumner, Hesketh Lane), who now lives at Ashton in Makerfield, presented her husband with a son, their second child, last week. Irene Hague is seriously ill. A specialist was called in last week. She has been in bed for nearly two months. The Rector has staying with him at the rectory a young corporal who was trained on the barrack square at Carter by Sergeant Ernie Ball. He recognised Ernie’s photograph at the rectory. Sister Norah Pearson, Queen Alexandria Nursing Staff, who is on her way east has sent the rector an excellent photograph of herself for the Chapel gallery. She is, of course, Norman Pearson’s sister. Good sized salmon is now being caught in the Douglas at Tarleton and the Yarrow at Croston. Muriel Iddon, daughter of John Iddon, Sutton Lane, is in Preston Infirmary suffering from chronic anaemia and has already had two transfusions of blood. She was in a serious state when this letter was written.

A.C.2. Hugh Melling writes "We arrived here at noon yesterday after a very nice journey from- . The train came through Rufford and Croston. I almost felt like hopping out. There are thirty of us in this boarding house and are getting on fine. In fact it could'nt be better. I managed to get to a Church service last Sunday. It was held in the gym. Stanley Tudor, the broadcasting theatre organist played during the Service and afterwards we had community singing. It was grand to hear all the men singing as hard as they could." Drvr. Dick Taylor, Mere Brow, says "Although I do not come from the Parish of Tarleton (he lives in the first house over the border in the parish of St. Stephen in the Banks, commonly known as Banks) I have always claimed Mere Brow, having had my education in the C of E School there. We marched 4 1/2 miles this morning, then spent the day on exercises amongst the woods and hills, and then, properly tired out, started to march back, arriving at Camp about 6 o'clock," Dvr. Ronnie Pilkngton writes from the Middle East to say “I haven’t had many of your letters for a few weeks now but I feel sure that all at Tarleton are safe and well. I don' t think that anyone at home has any idea what it is like to be in the heat of about 140, but I can tell them that it is not very nice. I have not very much to tell you that is of any interest. Most exciting things are happening but I have to leave them out. I would be very much obliged if you would send to the boys my kindest regards, especially to my friends Royal Marines K. Nicholson and Bill Wright and say I hope to see them before long." Royal Marine Leslie Hodson writes from Syria and says "Just another word of thanks for the N.Ls I have received. I have been very lucky this week. I have met two lads from Tarleton. First I met Jimmy Sutton (Hesketh Lane), and then I met Noel Clark, It was quite a surprise I can tell you. I also met Dick Gabbott a few months ago, but I think I wrote and told you that. I saw Noel to night and he said he was going to write to you, but I thought I would beat him to it. (you have Leslie, Noel’s letter has still to come). Noel has just given me a N.L. dated 4 3 42 which is the last one he received and it is quite a pleasure to read it I can say. Remember me to all the lads, Bill Wright, Alf Rowland and Tom Dandy especially. I think I have been lucky meeting so many lads out of such a small village". Dvr. Fred Taylor R.A.S.C. (Hesketh Lane, married Alice Holdcroft), writes his first letter after joining up and says, "I am glad to be able to tell you that I have passed my driving tests and am now only waiting to have a convoy test, and we have that next week. On Saturday we were out on a mock invasion of --- and ----. We were fighting the Home Guards and had a very good time, and lots of fun. We did not get back until 7o'clock in the evening," Pte. Ronnie Sergeant says, "I was very sorry that I was unable to see Dick Blundell when I was in --, but I only found out that he was there three days before I left, and as I did not know his regiment it was like looking for a needle in a haystack considering the troops which are in the neighbourhood. I am still at the same job, driving Instructor, and have just started a new course which is to last for a month. After that I think we shall close down the school as we shall by then have taught every man in the Battn. to drive. I think that that is pretty good work for fifteen instructors, to teach 900 men to drive in six months. We are to have a Brigadier’s inspection next week". Pte. Jack Parker, Liverpool says “My Mother hears from Syd. (his brother who was taken prisoner in Lybia, and is now in a p o w camp in Italy). He has been issued with a greatcoat and a jacket, as he had not got those items with him when he was nabbed. Must close now as I want to go to Evensong". Pte. Arthur Harrison says "I always send my N.Ls home to my wife as I want to make a book of them when the war is over. We have had some hard training lately. On Friday we had an assault course; over and under obstacles, through a pond, through a smoke screen, double up to a range, fire ten shots, and then marched ten miles back. It was grand to have a shower bath by the boys with a stirrup pump and then a change. I have’nt been to Church for a long time now; that's the worst of being in a place miles from anywhere. Please remember me to Harold Aspey and Vera Iddon. God Bless you and all at home", A.C.2. Freddy Coupe says, "In three weeks time we shall be passing out of foot drill we get plenty of that now. We are also getting a lot of aircraft recognition, but I am afraid that I cannot remember all the hundreds of planes there are, to tell them at a glance. The new billet is very good as far as food goes, but the washing and shaving business is bad because we have only one wash basin and there are nine chaps to for it, so you have to queue up in the morning." Gdsn, Aubrey Smith writes "I am glad to read that you will at last be able to have a break; it will certainly be a change for you to get away from your strenuous work. I am looking forward to seeing you when you are at home. Mrs. George Formby writes "We were delighted to hear from you once more also to learn that you had not forgotten us. We have read through your N.L,s and think that they are very good indeed and we are sure the boys will be delighted with them.”


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