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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
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News during the war
July 16th 1942

My dear Lads,
As I promised, I am sending you this week a complete list of all the Tarleton lads who have joined H.M. Forces since the beginning of the war. It is right up to date. There is such a rapid "call up" at the present moment that it may be out of date by this time next week. Every lad on this list, with the exception of those prisoners of war, and, of course, the fallen, receives a News Letter each week. And in addition a few are sent to lads either courting Tarleton girls, or very well known in our village, who live in neighbouring parishes. So you can see that I have set myself no easy task to keep in touch with this small army every week. However, I am sure that you would miss this weekly budget of news were it to stop, and so, with God's help, I intend to go on steadily with it until you all come hone, and may that happy day be soon. Next week I hope to send you all a small card of prayers which I have compiled and am getting printed. When it arrives I hope that you will make use of it. With my love and my Blessing, ever your affectionate friend and rector,

Home Front News.
Dick Burns, R.N. has passed his examination and now becomes an Engineer Mechanic, R.N. He came out top in the examination with more marks than anyone else. The next exam. will make him a Petty Officer. On Friday the rector had a letter in the morning from Corpl Jimmy Burns who is in Egypt, and before the morning was out his three brothers, Dvr. Tommy, Gdsn George and Eng. Mech. Dick, whose leave co incided, came together to visit him at the rectory. Airman Gregory Edge, Holmeswood Road, Rufford, has been officially reported missing. Corpl Billy Benjamin, R.A.F. brought his wife and family with him when he came on leave last week. Harry Woosey, who joined up a few weeks ago, is in hospital. Dick Johnson, in a cablegram to his mother says that he has just met Dick Gabbott in the middle east. Raymond Coupe has been home for a week's holiday. Mrs. Staves, the mother of Mrs. Tom Houghton, Moss Lane, died at her daughter's house on Friday. She was 68 years of age. Her husband was killed in France in the last war. She was buried at Tarleton on Monday. Two lads, no names no pack drill, caught a 16lb salmon in the Douglas almost opposite the rectory. They sold it for £2. The War Office has granted Ernie Nicholson three months' extended leave as his father is very ill and his mother is a permanent invalid. Donald Ascroft, Coe Lane, was married on Saturday at Bretherton Parish Church to Jennie Hindle, of Bank Bridge. Miss Salisbury, the Liverpool evacuee teacher at Hesketh Bank Church Schools was married at H.B. Parish Church on Saturday to a man from away. John Cropper, who used to work for Fosters and is now in the Manchesters, came home for a month's agricultural leave, was taken ill with double pneumonia and has been removed to Southport Infirmary. Latest news is that he is now much better and has been sent to the convalescent hospital at Scarisbrick. Ken. Lingard, of Rufford, has written a very snorty, sarcastic letter to the Ormskirk Advertiser complaining that the Rufford W.V.S. have disowned him as a Ruffordian because he married a Burscough girl and spends his leave in that neighbouring parish with his wife. Ken, his father, his grandfather and his great grandfather were all born in Rufford, so he wants to know where stands. Hesketh Bank Church Tea Party last Saturday. As usual they all went to the Botanical Gardens at Southport and kept their festivities there. Alf Rowland came home for a few hours on Saturday because the train in which he was travelling to his new temporary Station stopped at Preston and he could get on by bus. He is due any time now to go on foreign service. The new rector of Rufford, in the place of Mr. Magrath, is the Rev. E. Steinly, a native of Rainford, who has been a Tutor at St. Aidan's College, Birkenhead. He is unmarried. Mr. Hugh Cookson, the brother of Mr. James Cookson, died at Aintree last week and was buried at Tarleton.

Extracts from Letters.
Dvr. Noel (Nobby) Clark sends what might be called a Company Letter. He and all his pals have joined together in writing it. It comes from the Middle East and begins "Dear Rector, we cannot help thinking of you as our Rector, and not only that of your Tarleton congregation. We are sure that many other chaps do the same wherever a N.L. finds its ultimate destination, for it is so human, interesting and unique in its holy inception. We are sure that it cannot be improved upon nor compared to any like literature. We have visited many places of Biblical importance and seen for ourselves where our Lord carried out his ministry. We have bathed in the Sea of Galilee and also in the Mediterranean. The letter is signed "Noel and Pals". Marine Kenneth Nicholson writes from the Pacific saying "Do you remember a boy called Philbin who used to live at H.B. I was speaking to him the other day. He was on our ship for a few days. I only saw Philbin for a few hours but he was amazed when I told him all about the boys and where they were and what they were. I told him about your N.L. and how you kept us supplied with all the latest. Things are not the same out here that they used to be. Everything is grim and warlike. One place we visited is a wonderful place for bargains, underwear is very cheap and you need no coupons." Sapper Dick Johnson writes from Egypt to say "Your N.L. is enjoyed by all of us on the waggon, and I might say by all the lads from Tarleton which is well represented in the M.E. I suppose you have heard the news of what is happening out here. I lost everything including the snaps in my album. It is just two years since I came home from France, where again I lost everything I possessed." Dvr Ronnie Pilkington sends an airmail from the M.E. to say "I have had quite a few months now amongst the sand storms and I can tell you it is very uncomfortable. I get plenty of mail at times and I think that if I didn't I should be lost more than ever." Tacked on the end of Ronnie's letter is a short note by the Censor to the rector saying "I used to know you at St. Annes on Sea, and came abroad with your nephew, N.V.L. Brindley, C,F., (Censor)". The rector knew Mr. Brindley who was quite a boy then, some twenty years ago; so it was a very strange co incidence that he should have Ronnie's letter to censor. Cpl Jimmy Burns writes from the M.E. to say "Many thanks for your kind and welcome N.Ls. I have been in hospital for 10 days but I am back on the road again now. I came across a lad yesterday from Banks I knew in my old job on the rounds. I wish you would remember me to my brothers in the Forces, Tom, George and Dick, also my brothers in law Harry Forrest (M.E.) and George West; also to Jim Leasy, Harry Cookson and Harry Crook." L.A.C. Jimmy Swift writes from Kenya, where he is stationed to tell us "We are several miles from the City and are surrounded by the jungle which is full of snakes, mosquitoes and other reptiles. I went with several of my pals to the Cathedral last Sunday. It was United Nations Day and I must confess that it was the most enjoyable evening I have spent since I left England." AC2. Hugh Melling sends this in his letter "We had a marvellous Church Parade yesterday morning. I should think that there would be about 600 of us. We had a march past on the promenade. The Church we went to was Holy Trinity, South Shore, it is quite a new looking building. I don't know whether you know it or not but its a beautiful Church. I think that the organ is one of the loveliest toned I've ever heard. It would have done you good to hear all the men singing. It nearly lifted the roof off." (As a matter of interest the rector began his ministry as curate at Holy Trinity, South Shore, so he knows the Church extremely well) Cadet Stanley Baldwin sends a p.c. with his new address to say "Am studying at O.C.T.U. very hard". (We all wish you every success, Stan.) LAC Jack Edmondson says "I am on a 14 week's Wireless course. I commence to fly in, I think, 7 weeks time. Here we work six days a week, and from now on the course should prove very interesting. One person I shall miss here is the Padre we had at X. We were great pals, and I can truthfully say that he helped me. I hope that the Padre here proves as helpful". Gunner John Ball's interesting letter begins "I started Commando training the day after I sent you my last letter. There are twenty of us training and to morrow we have a competition with two other Battalions. It is a seven mile course, we are going over it ‘rough going'; there are three 14ft water jumps to get over and a 15ft wall, besides other obstacles. If we win, and I hope we do, our Major has promised us 36 hrs leave." LAC Tom Smith gives this news "When things of an exciting nature happen on an R.A.F. station they are of such a nature as to be strictly taboo. A thoughtless airman, sailor or soldier can do incalculable harm by forgetting what he is writing." He says of those northerners he meets on his jaunts to and from home "Most of us share a feeling of distaste for the southern counties probably due to homesickness." Gunner Dan Stazicker "I was pleased to hear that you are expecting to come to - . The most remarkable thing about the date you give is that it happens to be my birthday so please do not forget to call you can always tell soldiers billets for they are minus window curtains." He goes on to say that although they have had some pretty big air raids in the town, last week when there was a terrific thunderstorm the people seemed much more scared. Ends "Please give my kind regards to all the lads in the Forces, especially those in the M.E., and also to my brother in-law Nick Taylor," O.A. Jimmy Sutton, R.N. (from shop in Hesketh Lane opposite Mission Room) who has just joined up says "I have been aboard ship but am still in my civvies. The Devonshire lads are grand, they will do anything in their power to help you along. I do not know whether I shall pass my test but I shall have a good try. It was strange at first sleeping in a hammock." LAC Bert Barron begins "Just a few lines to let you know that I am still roaming the 'Green fields of England' although I am still on the books for overseas. Linton Ashcroft, my Rufford friend here, is detailed for over the "drink". He goes to a northern camp in preparation to catch the "winkle barge". I hope that you will excuse some of these R.A.F. slang terms, but they come
naturally to me after spending the last two years in this "outfit". Dvr Dick Taylor, Mere Brow, says "I passed my final test on Monday, but have had to wait all this week to go on solo convoy next week. It was like a bit of old time reading about Silcocks but as there is a Fair on here at the week end I shall have to imagine that I am back at Tarleton. Dvr Robert Bond Mere Brow, writes "Have you heard from Charlie Wright? He is known better as Chuck. I have not heard from him for nearly three weeks." (the rector has not heard from him for some time, nor seen him since he was last on leave with Robert himself). Robert goes on "I spent 2 days in Crieff last week end with my girl friend. I don't suppose you will know that I had one. I think Chuck would look twice if he saw that in the N.L." (At any rate it ought to fetch a letter from Chuck). L/Cpl Stanley Johnson, H.B. writes from overseas to say "Things seem to get busier and busier, and there seem to be more loads than ever to be carried on the old waggon. Give my regards to Norman Barron and tell him I will write as soon as I get his address. Jack Robinson is still over here, I believe, although it's a long time since I saw him. We have the Yanks here. I've spent a good deal of time amongst them and I don't find them much different to ourselves, except their clothes. I believe they have about six suits! They will need a travelling wardrobe for that lot." Dvr William Parkinson begins his letter, "Just a few lines to let you know that I am now on the high seas and rather a long way from home. I was sea sick for about four days but have now quite recovered except that it is has cured me from smoking, which is a pity as we can get 100 cigarettes for 2/6 on the boat, also oranges, chocolates etc. I had Communion on Board ship to day which was very nice." Corpl Robert Moss R.A.F. says "I am on flying duties, which means that I give instruction while flying on W/T communication, and on an average I fly six hours per day. Please remember me to all the lads who are serving in the forces and many thanks for the N.Ls which I receive regularly." Pte Jimmy Harrison (Kearsley Ave) writes “We were addressed by the C.O. today and told that our batch are having the honour of being first in the Physical training Centre. The idea of the P.T.C. we were told is to put each man in the Unit most suited to him. There is, however, a preliminary six weeks Infantry training." Pte Ken Ogden says "I have been sent here to learn to be a fitter. I like the course alright as it is more in my line. I have never been so near home before and have been home every week end. Put in some long hours. Reveille is 5.30 and we work Sunday morning from eight thirty until mid day. It is a big change from my old Unit, as it was easy there." Pte Arthur Harrison in a very chatty letter informs us "About 30 of us have been given good conduct stripes. We have had to put them on whether we want to or not. We have been in the Army two years now and it seems like ten. Please remember me to all the boys both at home and wherever they are. I hope that Jack Robinson had a good leave while he was at home." We forgot to mention that LAC Bert Barron asked in his letter to be especially remembered to Gdsn Frank Timperly and Gunner Harold Aspey, as well as to all the lads. AC2 Freddy Coupe says "I have not seen Hugh Melling in ---- yet, but I am looking out for him. Last Sunday we were on Church Parade and there were crowds watching the March Past after the service. I am at this moment Fire-watching at the Squadron Offices with a Corporal.”

Names of those from the Parish of Tarleton on Active Service for their King and Country.

Thomas Burns Ronald Iddon Fred Forshaw
James Leacy Ernest Ball Roy Magee
Harry Whitehead Daniel Stazicker William Wright
Stanley Baldwin Herbert Price Roger Watson
Kenneth Hind Thomas Rigby Ronald Sergeant
Trevor Adams R.I.P Harry Crook William Molyneux
Ronald Pilkington Dennis Johnson William Wilson
Noel Clark Nicholas Dewhurst William Sutton
Frederick Croft Charles Wright (Chuck) John Pickervance
Frank Croft Kenneth Robshaw Richard Harrison
Arthur Croft John Tindsley Walter Rawsthorne
Richard Rymer Ronald Melling Matthew Sutton
Clifford Hambilton John Rimmer Lowerth Davies
Ralph Whitehead Thomas Walsh William Parkinson
Harry Price Thomas Tindsley Leslie Hodson
Walter Moss John J. Hague Arthur Harrison
Abraham Wright Tom Harrison John Moss
Henry Latham Eric Hind Harry Iddon
Kenneth Nicholson George Burns William Harrison
Joseph Wait James Burns Henry Caunce
Edgar Wait Frank Timperley Alfred Rowland
Robert Watson Harry Cookson Thomas Dandy
Vincent Hayward Herbert Barron Thomas Parkinson
Arthur Molyneux Norman Barron Thomas Smith
Herbert Nutter Ernest Nicholson Thomas Southworth
Austin Barton John Rowland John G. Moss
George West Frank McKean Henry Devitt
John Robinson Thomas Coulton John Marsden
Edwin Crabtree Thomas Fazackerley Nicholas Forshaw
John Caunce Harry Taylor John Ball
Samuel Daniels Harry Rigby James Swift
Thomas Bishop William Benjamin Philip Rigby
Frank Foster James Parkinson
Edwin Barron
Hubert Tinsley Harry Harrison Richard Taylor
John Ascroft Robert Moss George Hunter
Thomas Harrison James Latham William Riding
John Wright Gerald Pendlebury Edwin Johnson
Richard Johnson Richard Parker Frederick Pollard
Harold Melling James Hodgkinson James Sutton
John Cross John Sutton William Abram
Charles Martin Hugh Melling Frederick Coupe
William J. Clee Richard Blundell Robert Barron
Richard Gabbott Albert Becconsall Albert Melling
Thomas Spencer Harry Forrest Charles Wright
Arthur Forshaw Lewis Clark Alan Barnes
Harold Aspey Albert Fawke Richard Townsley
William Ellison John Hornby Sidney Rutter
John Iddon Thomas Coulton (Fermor Road) Robert Bond
Richard Burns Frederick Taylor William Dobson
Ronald Johnson Nicholas Taylor Harold Pilkington
Hugh Rowland Stanley Quinlan Frank Cairns
Fred Tiffin Henry Monk James Sutton
Ronald Kerruish John Jones James Harrison
Harley McKean Robert Parkinson Ronald Knight
George Almond William Roberts Abel Bickerstaffe
Harry Woosey John Edmondson  

Killed on Active Service
Trevor Adams, Scots Guards, in Norway
Ronald Kerruish, Flight Sergeant, R.A.F. while bombing Germany.

Prisoners of War
Clifford Hamilton, in retreat to Dunkirk.
Herbert Nutter, in retreat to Dunkirk.
Frederick Croft, Captain R.A., in Lybia.

Reported missing in Malay
John Tindsley, Richard Harrison, James Latham, Henry Monk

Invalided out of the Army
Dennis Johnson, William Molyneux R.A.F. John Ascroft, Harold Melling, Thomas Coulton (Mere Brow), Vincent Hayward, Roy Magee, George Hunter


Prepared for web viewing by Mere Brow Local History Society