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War letters from Soldiersn
November 19th 1942

Last Sunday in Tarleton was a most remarkable day, One can usually predict what the rest of the day is likely to be by the numbers at early Communion, and on Sunday this Service was very well attended. Then came Mattins and again the Church seemed quite full. For the big afternoon Service the Church was absolutely packed, chairs and forms were brought in, and when the procession had passed up the central aisle people crowded in and stood in that and in the two side aisles, throughout the service, and still as many more could not get into Church. Some good time before he died Mr. Fred Webster said to the rector “The reason why people do not flock to Church as one would suppose they would to seek God’s aid in the time of these disasters, is because they are stunned by unexpected calamity. When the first real victory is announced you will see that they will proclaim by their presence in Church to Whom they acknowledge they owe it! As always this wise and far seeing man was right. Sunday, at any rate showed that our acknowledgement of God's guiding hand is not forgotten, May we take to heart those words we say so often, 'We shew forth Thy praise, not only with our lips but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to Thy service". Tom Smith’s letter was full of most carefully reasoned solutions to many post war problems. I hope to deal with them in next week's N.L. And don't forget in your prayers our own village lads in North Africa, With my love, and my prayers for you all.
ever your faithful friend,

Sapper Dick writes from a General Hospital in the M.E.F. saying, “I am improving and a week or two should see me fit again. I received three N.L., the first for weeks and incidentally the first letters for quite a long time. As my mother has started sending me the Parish Magazine you don't need to send it again. The Padre paid a visit to this ward a few nights ago, but unfortunately I did not get to see him". Dvr. Billy Parkinson also sends an airgraph from the M.E.F. saying "I have not received an N.L. now for over a fortnight. I must say that they are very welcome and interesting out here in the desert. I have had a letter from Harry Rigby and am going to write to Matt Sutton and see how he likes desert life, which I don't suppose is any better than I do". (Both Harry Rigby and Matt Sutton are in the M.E.F.) A first letter comes from Corpl. Frank Cairns, R.A.F., whom we congratulate upon his very rapid promotion, saying "I have been stationed here for three months having been posted from a six week's course at the School of Drill, as a Drill Instructor, which includes musketry. I like the job fine, and shall be quite satisfied if I can remain here. Please remember me through the N.L. to George Barker. I am pleased to hear that he has recovered from his operation. Also to David Hanson my old evening school mate, wishing him the best of luck on his Observer's Course. And not forgetting my Mere Brow pals Charlie and Church Wright”. AC1 Walter Rawsthorne writes from Canada to say "Sorry to say that one of the boys passed away this morning having been thrown from a horse while out riding last night, receiving a fractured skull. Our hut is going to collect for a wreath, but we expect enough for two or three, in which case we hope to send it to the wife and kiddies he left behind. The farmers here are appealing for airmen to volunteer for harvesting, so my pal and I are devoting our next leave to it. We feel sure that the hard work and good food would do us good, besides we can use the 'dough'. Please remember me to all the lads and lassies, and my pals Bob Barron and Tom Rigby". LAC Tom Smith says "To strangers the news in the N.L. may seem dull and void of interest, to those residing in Tarelton the little items of gossip may seem commonplace and unimportant, but to us ‘homeless' ones every item is a breath of Tarleton air. In short the broken legs, the black eyes, the marauding foxes and prize winning rabbits, the whist drives and dances, the marriages and funerals, the births and death, paints for us a picture representing the complete comedy and tragedy of the life of our village. We feel too, that we should be in that picture. Some day we shall come back and the picture will be complete. AC Tom Parkinson says "If I do not get posted to a R.A.F. Station from here they will put us on the next draft. We had a day off today, so I went for a walk on my own. I saw a crowd going into a big Church and I could not resist so I walked in too, and I found it very pleasant and enjoyed it much. It was St. Andrews, Kengsbury. Please remember me to the S.S. Teachers and Scholars and to all the members of the Forces from the village. Pte. Jack Parker, R.A.M.C. writes "I am on the boat alright and enjoying it better than I expected. Today we went into shorts. My pair are what the men call "General Wavells". It appears that the General wears this pattern. I have a job in the Troops’ hospital, just to keep me out of mischief. To night I had to queue to get out of Church!! The Service was very good. The padres on board are starting a discussion group twice a week. I hope to go and will tell you more about it in my next letter. If you get this letter in time for Christmas or Epiphany I wish you the Season' s greetings". (I received your letter in good time, Jack, and hope that you get this reply in good time to accent my own very best wishes and prayers and Blessing for a good Christmas for yourself. And I am glad you remembered my devotion to the Epiphany. Many thanks.) P.T. Sergeant Instructor George Harcastle (the rector's nephew writes "A few weeks ago I broke a collar bone, and ever since I have been walking about with my shoulders strapped back and my arms sticking out. The people here are very nice and I think I know more here than anywhere. This is partly because I have been to Church quite a lot. I now sing in the Choir. I see by the N.L. that my cousin Ian is on a ship. If he ever comes this way he might look me up. (address sent privately, when you ask for it, Ian). Sto. Tom Spencer R.N. says "My landlady's daughter has been looking for my name in the N.L. ever since I came back from leave, but she has failed to find it, and keeps on saying that she is going to write to you and ask the reason why. (Reason Tom because I cannot take reasonable extracts from all the letters between thirty and forty I receive each week, so some have to go ‘unrestricted’ now and again. However, tell your landlady's daughter still to write. I should like to have a letter from her.) Please remember me to my cousins Tom Fazackerley and Harry Alty and to all Tarletonians in H.M, Forces“. Here comes Tom himself with a letter. Tom Fazackerley writes, “I am wearing clogs at present and find them much more comfortable than Army boots. Some of the lads hadn't seen a pair before, and our officer was very interested too. I went to a small Chapel last Sunday and there were 7 of us counting the parson. I got invited out to tea after, so I had a grand day." Corpl. Robert Moss R.A.F. writes "We are still working seven days a week, with an occasional half day which, as you can guess is much appreciated. Our working day is quite long enough and starts at 7.30 a.m. and goes on till 5p.m. so that it is dark when we start and nearly dark when we finish. I suppose that you will know that Hilda, our John’s wife is home again after her operation, though she still has to spend a lot of time in bed. I am quite ashamed, and more than sorry to say, Bob, that I did not even know that John’s wife had had an operation; There’s a parson for you! (I will certainly go and see her tomorrow, and take a well deserved scolding). Gunner Harry Woosey, who is still in hospital. Writes “I should not like to be in Hitler’s shoes, or Rommel’s either. They will be having a headache somewhere. I was glad when I got word about my brother- in -law being a prisoner of war in Malaya, His wife had another letter recently to say that he is safe and well. On Sunday I went to Church and it was a very nice Service. What did me most good was that it was a ‘full House'. I did not know that we men in blue were allowed in this Church until last week when a chap told me we could go".

Connie Tindsley, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. R. Tindsley, Hesketh Lane, is being married to James Ridding of Banks on Nov. 28th at Tarleton Chapel. Tom Wilson, Beech House, Hesketh Lane, is marrying Betty Monaghan, Hesketh Lane, on Boxing Day at Tarleton Parish Church. Henry Iddon, Gorse Lane, brother of Dick Iddon, is joining the Navy this week. David Sharrocks, Tabby Nook, Mere Brow has sold up and gone to live retired at Banks. The Gornalls, who for the past three years have lodged with the Tom Harrisons at Jumps Farm, Mere Brow, have gone to live in Southport. The A.T.C. Dance on Friday night was a great success. Their own Dance Band played. Mr. & Mrs. J Sutton, Blackgate Lane, have heard, indirectly, that their son William, R.A.F. was last seen in Java. They have not heard from him since he sailed over a year ago. Gdsm. George Burns, coming home on leave last Friday night, tumbled over his kit bag in the dark and broke his arm. L/cpl. Harry Price R.A.S.C. and Jimmy Sutton, R.N. also on leave. Quite a job last week running round getting eight ringer to give us a peal on Sunday morning. However, we got them, and the bells sounded well. Cadet Stanley Baldwin R.A., in Tarleton on flying visit last week. Special Constable Richard Sephton, of Rufford, shot a beautiful silver fox last week. All the shot went in the head, so he has sent it away to be stuffed. He told the rector yesterday that some of the men of Rufford are getting up a ‘fox drive’ as there are quite a number of them doing damage in the neighbourhood. Combined remembrance and national service day at Tarleton last week. At afternoon service the Church was packed and the lady Chapel full.


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