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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
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War letters from soldiers
December 3rd 1942

My dear Boys and Girls,
As you will see I have, this week, given pride of place to the airgraphs I have received from the lads in the M.E.F. I know what actual warfare is, and this I know, also, how much these lads desire and need your prayers. I know that they will have them. There are still just a few lads who seem never to write to me. Yet, week by week, these very lads, some of whom I know extremely well, receive the N.L., showing, at least, that I am thinking of them. To them I say "The courtesy of a letter now and again would show some appreciation of the many hours spent in gathering the material for the N.L., and would be most welcome." You are all, never out of my thoughts and my prayers.
With my love and blessing,
ever your sincere friend and pastor,

We regret to have to say that Mrs. Betty Parker, Hesketh Lane, daughter of Mr. Hugh Ball, has received a notification from the War Office that her husband, Trooper Richard Parker, Tank Corps, was killed in action in Lybia on Nov. 2nd. Readers of the N.L. will remember the bright and newsy letters that Trooper R. Parker used to write to the rector, extracts from which we always gave. Oliver Hart's Green bus ran over a man at 6.30 p.m. on Friday, on Southport promenade. The man died in hospital on Saturday morning. Kershaws, Coe Lane, had a sale of their poultry and hen cabins on Saturday afternoon. Crowds of buyers and some good prices were fetched. The first lot, good pullets, fetched £1 apiece, lesser breeds from 7/6 to 3/6 each. Cabins ranged from from £31 to £17. Joe Abram, Blackgate Lane, is marrying Annie Hough, Mere Brow, on the Saturday before Christmas. Frank Marsden's little boy aged about 4 years, was in back seat of Frank's motor, opened the door and fall out when it was just going over Runner Platt at Mere Brow. He was badly bruised. Dr. Croft reported no bones broken, and next day the lad was out and about with face badly disfigured. (For those who don’t know about two years ago Frank Marsden, Builder, Moss Lane, became Landlord of the Legh Arms, Mere Brow, and also farms the Farm belonging to it.) Tom Dickinson Plox Brow, joins the Navy on Monday. John Caunce, Arthur Barron (Wesley Cottages) Billy Harrison, Herbert Parkinson (Blackgate Lane) joined up last week, in Army. Jeffrey Wignall, Blackgate Lane, (married Grace Rigby) has been called up. He only had his medical last week. The rector went to York on Monday to the Consecution of the new Bishop of Blackburn in York Minster. He left Preston at 5.19 in the morning and returned to Preston at 6.30 p.m. Engineer Johnny Hague Merchant Service, has received a Commission in the Royal Navy. He now becomes Sub lieutenant (E) John Hague, R.N.R. He looks very smart in his Navy uniform. Smiths (Church Road) are selling their shop. Fox hunt at Mere Brow on Saturday afternoon last. Joe Abram senr. and William Ball, of Banks, who married Eva Sephton, each shot a fox in the wood behind Jump's Farm (Tom Harrison's). The Bishop in Jerusalem who, in last week's N.L. was reported to have taken a Confirmation of soldiers prepared by the rector's nephew, Padre E.J. Forse, was killed by a motor accident as he was returning home from his Confirmation tour.

Seven airgraphs this week. Tpr. Harry Latham sends from India to say "I am receiving the N.L.s quite regularly, and I want to thank you for the news, it is better than any newspaper. I have not met any local boys yet except my pal Tom Rigby (Toll Bar), but I hope to meet some soon. Please remember me to all the boys especially those overseas." Sapper Dick Johnson who by the way, was given as Sapper Dick, in N.L. a fortnight ago, writes from the M.E.F. saying, "I am still in this General hospital. I had a visit from the Chaplain whom I was glad to see. This is the first time I have come in contact with one. I was surprised to hear that he had preached at Much Hoole and that he seemed to know our district quite well...I hope to attend Service next Sunday." L/Cpl. Ted Barnish, Tank Corps, whom we congratulate on his promotion, writes, "A happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. It doesn't seem long since I paid you a visit." (But since then, Ted has been through the Burma campaign, trekked to Bengal through the jungle, and is now somewhere near Abram’s birthplace.) He goes on "Please make a note of my new address and the N.L. will arrive much sooner. I believe Matt Sutton is somewhere out here, but by the look of the country I shall be lucky if I come across him. The first opportunity you get, rector, will you please send through the N.L. by best wishes and good luck to my brother Alec who, I suppose is somewhere in action on the Western Desert, also to all my friends in the services." Gunner Philip Rigby, Fermor Rood, writes from India to say "Just a line or two in answer to your N.L. which I received to day. It came as a pleasant surprise and I have read it through several times to make sure that I have missed nothing. We do not miss going to Church because we are out in the jungle, because we have a service every Sunday under the shade of the palm trees. There are plenty of snakes, lizards, mosquitoes and ants here. Well, rector, remember me to all the H.G. boys." Dvr. John Iddon (Gorse Lane) writes from Rommel's late headquarters to say “I am in the best of health. I see by the N.L. that Les Hodson has met some of the Tarleton lads out here. He seems to be the lucky one. Well, Sir, I am ready for being back home, I have seen enough sand to last me a long time. I see by the last N.L. that some more of the lads have joined up. You will be getting a big number of N,Ls to send out every week. (over 200 John) The mail is coming through rotten just at present, not had a letter from home for just over a week. Please give my best regards to Jack Moss, Dick Gabbott, Pet. Dawson and Dick Blundell. Dvr. Harley McKean says "Just a few lines to let you know that I am still very much alive and kicking, and still receiving your N.L. which contain a wealth of information about the village. I should be lost without them. I wrote to you some time ago, saying that I had seen Jimmy Burns and later that I had met Ronnie Piikington. I am sorry to say that I have not met any of the old boys since. Please remember me to Nick Dewhurst and my brother Frank" The rector's nephew, Sergeant Instructor George Hardcastle, well known to many Tarleton lads, writes "I have some wonderful news for you I am now engaged. The young lady is a Broadstairs girl, and is really one in a million. Wait till you see her! I know that you will endorse my opinion. I am carrying on just as usual, a fair amount of P,T., a cross country run each week, which I generally win, boxing etc. This afternoon I start training our Battn. Boxing team," Sgt. Jimmy Leacy writes "At the beginning of October, two of my pals and myself were transferred from our old company to this Depot as Instructors. Now I am well on my way with my first Squad of future Military Policeman. The work is fairly interesting and the living conditions are good. The N.Ls continue to arrive safely, full of news and good cheer. This will be my fourth Christmas in the Army. Christmas is always a time when people wish to be with their loved ones, and I think that this time there is need for special effort and prayer from each one of us." Gdsn. Kenneth Hind writes "You will, I think be surprised to receive a line from me after all this time. Do not think I have forgotten you. It seems a long while since I came at the last moment to serve at a Confirmation at which Eric carried the Cross. Wishing you a happy Christmas and very soon the end of this war. Dvr. Jack Robinson says “ I don’t think I shall be home for Christmas, but all being well, I hope to be home for the New Year. By the time you get this letter I shall have been in the Army three years, I never thought of being in so long, but I must say I have enjoyed it. I have not heard from my cousin Vera for a long time. I don’t know where she is, so will you, please, remember me to her through the N.L., hoping to hear from her soon, (now, Vera, let your A.T.S badge stand for once for A Thoughtful Scribe and write to Jack). To all my mates who are out in the Middle East I wish the best of luck, hoping we shall all be home together soon." Sapper Tom Coulton, R.C. writes, "I am now driver to an Officer and its quite a nice job. I believe that one or two Tarleton lads are stationed here also, so I may bump into them one of these days. Please thank through the N.L. the Women’s Comforts Fund and the Bowling Club." AC/2 Sidney Rutter writes, "I am in the butcher's shop now, which is my own trade. The food here is plentiful and good, and well cooked; in fact we want for nothing, Many a time I wonder if there is a war on seeing the meals we get!" Royal Marine Harry Iddon says "I am taking to this life O.K. but we don't get much to read and I would appreciate the N.L. Will you please send it along." LAC Lawrence Hunter, (Hoole), says "I suppose that you will be wondering what I am doing in the RAF. Well, to put it briefly I am going through a pilots grading course. If I am successful I shall probably be sent overseas for training. The end of the course brings with it leave, so it will not be long before I am back again amongst familiar faces. Cpl. Kenneth Ogden, R.E.M.E. writes, "I find it more interesting on this job than in the R.A.M.C. The hours of work are different, but the time flies by." Pte. Arthur Harrison says "We have all finished farming now. I have had 3 months of it now. When I get to our now quarters I may apply for 28 days agricultural leave.


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