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Letters to home from servicemen during World War Two
December 10th 1942

My dear Boys and Girls,
I know that I am expressing your gratitude also when I thank the Wesley Guild for their magnificent gift of £12.10s. to the N.L. Fund. What pleases me, and I know it will please you, is to find the splendid harmony that exists amongst all creed and classes in the Parish. I have already received several Christmas cards from lads in the M.E.F. and in India. I return all their good wishes, and in order that all may get them in time, each week now I must end my letter with wishing you all a very pleasant Christmas, and the best of New Years, and may it contain within it a victorious peace.
With my love and Blessing,
ever your affectionate pastor,

John Hough of Mere Brow, died on Monday aged 73 years and was buried at Tarleton, Kenneth Parkinson, Station Bridge, Hesketh Lane was married at Tarleton Parish Church at 9.a.m. on Sunday to Anne Tumilty of Old Hartlepool, Kenneth is in the Gunners. Louise Alty, who married a Buck from H.B. presented her husband with a son last Monday. Tom Bretherton, Station Rd., Hoole, is home on a fortnight’s leave after being torpedoed, Harold Cross, South Rd., Bretherton, near Blue Anchor, who is in the Army is on leave with his Irish bride. The following joined up this week; Jonathan Carr, of Bretherton, Hugh Wilson (Worked for James Forshaw); John Bretherton, of Bretherton; George Farrington of Croston, who keeps company with Annie Wilson, Wesley Cottages. The Wesley Guild gave a Concert the other night and raised £12.10s. which they very kindly gave to the rector in aid of the N.L. Fund. We are sure that all those who appreciate this letter will wish to join the rector in thanking them.. Mr. Robert Hodson, Kearsley Ave., is very ill in bed. Tom Dickinson Plox Brow, joined the Navy on Monday. Corpl. Fred Forshaw has transferred from the R.A.S.C. to the R.Es. Kenneth Culshaw, New Rd., has been made a Sergeant in the A.T.C. Thomas Sephton, of Churchtown, a brother of Mrs. Hough whose husband was buried on Friday, fell off his bicycle on Slope Brow, Mere Brow, while returning from the funeral and cracked his skull. He is still unconscious in Southport Infirmary. Mr. William Coulton, Marshes Lane, Mere Brow, the father of Thomas fell from the loft in Jump’s Farm. He has had five stitches in his head. John Webster R.N. home on leave also Sergt-Major Edgar Wait, Pte. Harry Cookson, Nick Taylor, Dick Townsley, Harry Crook, John Rowland and Lieut. Ronnie Cook (Husband of Nellie Cookson). There is a good deal of talk in the village about the mill being restarted. Names have already been taken of those ready to go back. Banns of Marriage of Tom Wilson and Betty Monaghan called out for the first time on Sunday. Millers egg collecting van had an accident in Hesketh Lane, just by Mellings, on Thursday and about a dozen cases of eggs fell into the Road. Corpl. Tom Tindsley, R.E, has just announced his engagement to Miss Eva Ebsworth, of Golders Green, London, a place where he was once billeted. He is at present on leave. Miss Ebsworth is also staying in Tarleton. Ronnie Knight is at home suffering from shock and wounds in head and hands caused by a bomb falling at the works, a long way from Tarleton where he is employed on war-work, Billy Harrison, Kearsley Ave., son of Harry Harrison, has gone abroad.

Cablegram received from LAC Jimmy Swift, last heard of in Kenya, says "Best wishes and good health. Happy Christmas and New Year. Keep Smiling". Thanks Jimmy and the same to you. Pte. Tom Rigby sends a pictorial Christmas card airgraph from India depicting an Indian, in turban, driving a trek cart to which two very horny bullocks are hitched. Trooper Alec Barnish, in Middle East, sends a more or less regulation Christmas Card with what looks like a Bishop in a top hat standing under the palm trees with his back to the pyramids. The inside contains the words "Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year". Thanks Alec and the same to you. Robert Bond, Mere Brow, sends an airgraph saying “You will have heard that they call us lads in the desert "desert rats" because we always sleep in deep holes. There is one favourite thing that the desert rats like, and that is a "brew up" with plenty of sugar in it too. Many thanks for the N.Ls. which I received the other day. How do you like the way things are going in the M.E.? Please tell the boys in the forces I wish them all a Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year, P.S. I will see you on the Christmas tree" Same to you Robert; tell Father Christmas to hitch your lorry to his reindeer when he is coming this way. I will tell your mother to get the chimney swept. Dvr. Harley McKean sends an airgraph from the M.E.F. saying "I hadn’t had a letter for what seemed ages and now I have just received two N.Ls. so you can imagine how glad I was to receive them. I notice, sir, with interest, that in the one dated the 12th. Jimmy Burns wrote to you informing you that I had met him out here. I wrote also to you at the same time, telling you the same thing, but as yet I have not received acknowledgement of same". (Sorry Harley, but I should rather imagine that the fishes are at present, discussing the wonderful coincidence of you two meeting. I did not get the letter, anyhow). Harley goes on "I have some more news for you. I have just met Bob Jackson, from Bretherton. I met him four days ago, but I have not had time to write to you because he and I have been busy talking about Tarleton, Bretherton and Croston ever since. Best wishes to you, sir, and all who help you with the N.Ls. Personally I say ‘never was so much owed by so many to so few’ with all due respects to Mr. Churchill and the R.A.F, of course". Stoker Tom Spencer R.N. writes "We do not get much time to ourselves, now, what with polishing brass, coaling and catering ship and all the odd jobs. Well, sir, I have not had the N.L. for the last fortnight. I don't know why, but I have not changed any address," (Sorry, Tom it is not my fault. I can assure you that I have been frantic because I could not get the N.Ls off in time. I have been promised that things are normal once more) LAC Bert Barron, Sollom, writes "Just a few lines to let you know that I've left the 'green fields' and am now somewhere afloat. You will know, sir, that I cannot say anything about the ship or my destination (which I still do not know), but I can say that I am still very much alive and kicking. I hope that you will mention me to cousin Bob through of course, the N.L, and all the other lads". LAC Malcolm Parkinson writes from U.S.A. to say "I have returned from two days stay in Birmingham, the second largest steel city in U.S.A. where I had been sent as a representative of the R.A.F. cadets in U.S.A. A big drive was being held in Birmingham for relief for the various countries that have been stricken by the war, and the head of this rally wrote to our Commanding officer asking for two British Cadets to go to represent Great Britain. I was one of the lucky two. All we had to do was walk down the auditorium and back again in front of a crowd of 4,000 people. Rooms were engaged for us at large hotel, and all our bills were paid for us we didn’t even have to pay our bus fare, We were invited out to dinner by many people and taken all round in cars. We certainly had a swell time. I am busy now on the flying side team rides, formation, night flying, instruments and cross country work" Pte. Bob Hull writes "I have not met anyone from Tarleton except Jack Moss (who is now abroad), please remember me to Jack Marsden, and Jimmy Harrison, and my best pal Bill Harrison who has just joined up”. Pte. Robert Latham writes from a camp the rector has known a great number of years to say "I wish to thank you for the N.L. I am sure that it is no easy task to compile this Budget of News each week. I would also like to thank the ladies of the Mothers Union for the 10/- which I received and appreciated". Sergt Ernie Ball says, amongst other things. "This morning we had a very nice little service in the Recreation Room. I shall be going to Church again tonight. There is only one Service in English, the rest are in Gaelic. Somehow the English Services are nothing like so attractive as you find them in England. They seem to lack the reverence which you find in our own. I think that sitting instead of kneeling to pray and other things like that, seem to take all, or rather a lot of, the reverence from the Service. I am hoping to have my leave so that I shall be home for Christmas". LAC Eva Foulds writes, saying, "I am now LAC. It has taken it quite a while to come through. I am just waiting for a letter from my fiance. He went away ten weeks ago, and I have not heard from him yet. O.A. Jimmy Sutton R.N. writes "There are about 500 W.R.E.N.S. here to about 30 so it's pretty uncomfortable isn’t it. I may get 10 days leave at N. Year.


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