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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
Reproduction by any means strictly prohibited.

December 17th 1942

My dear Boys and Girls,
My first pleasure and duty in this letter is to wish you one and all a very pleasant and cheerful Christmas. And we must not forget those of our lads who are prisoners of war and those who are bearing the burden and heat of the day in the fighting zones. Their thoughts will most certainly be with us at home, and the least we can do is to remember them in our prayers. Christmas, the great family Feast, will have a greater significance this year, for it will widen our whole outlook and make us think of our larger family of our village as a whole. And above all do not forget to be present at Holy Communion, for there we all meet, those away and those at home, in the Heart of Jesus Himself. "He that eateth
my flesh, and drinketh my Blood, dwelleth in Me and I in Him". And where else would we, or should we, or for that matter could we, all meet together on Christmas Day than in the Heart of Him whose Birthday we are celebrating. Again with best Christmas wishes, with much love and every Blessing, ever your affectionate brother,

Home Front News.
Annie Hough, Mere Brow, is marrying Joe Abram, Blackgate Lane, at Mere Brow Chapel next Sat., Annie Hart, Mere Brow, is marrying Charlie Wright, Tabby Nook, Mere Brow, at Mere Brow Chapel on January 2nd. Jean Armstrong, New Road, who is walking out with John Taylor, Bannister Farm, Gorse Lane, has joined the W.A.A.Fs. Miss Sarah Jane Ascroft, Chapel Houses, his bought Smith's house and shop and intends to turn shopkeeper. Edna Dalton, Croston, married Tom Jackson, Bretherton, (Weavers Fold) on Saturday. Mr. Sidney Rutter, Kearsley Ave., has been discharged from the R.A.F. on medical grounds. Fourteen foxes have been seen between Sollom and Rufford and a big fox hunt has been arranged to shoot them. Mr. Harry Hodge, Commandant of N.F.S. for this district has informed the Rector that their Headquarters, (Miss Millers cottage at corner of Coe Lane and Plox Brow) is haunted. On two separate nights those firemen sleeping there have heard a motor bicycle coming down Coe Lane, stop at the station, some one came round and lift the latch. When they have gone down, there has been no one there. The only explanation that we can suggest is that the well established rectory ghost, being patriotic, has thought she would do something for her King and Country, and, following prevailing custom, has adopted male attire, borrowed a phantom motor bike, and joined the N.F.S. Anyhow the rector’s fourteen lodgers have not seen her hanging about the rectory, so she probably prefers the company of the local lads. If so Jim Barron will now be able to come home in peace unmolested at any time day or night. At Preston Fur Fancier’s Show last Saturday Edward Ashcroft, Coe Lane, won 4 first & prize for best in show. William Harrison, Church Road won a first, and Jimmy Dandy, Green Lane, won a first and second. William Cookson, Hesketh Lane son of H.G. Sergt. Charlie Cookson, has announced his engagement to Elsie Winstanley, W.A.A.F. of Marshes Lane, Mere Brow. Pte. Herbert Parkinson, (joined up last week) has announced his engagement to Margaret Caunce, Moss Lane, Latham. Dan Stazicker home on embarkation leave. Also on leave this week Harry Alty, R.N. ( Hesketh Lane) John Ball, Chapel Houses, Billy Benjamin. Mrs. Tom Latham (Hester Ascroft) sold 3 of her green houses for £260 on Sat. to a Mr. Topping of Longton.

Extracts from Letters.
LAC Freddy Pollard writes “ The Islanders are of Nordic descent but the majority are very nice and friendly. There are plenty of kippers and other fish to be had here, and we often get them for our meals. We also have two very nice padres, and there is a Service every Sunday morning. I spend some of my spare time playing the organ. “2nd Lieut. Stanley Baldwin, R.A. writes I was commissioned a 2nd Lt. E.A. as from yesterday, and am now on a weeks leave with my family in Wales. My O.C.T.U. Course ended on a good note as I actually had the best report given in the whole squad”. AC David Hanson says “I am glad Frank Cairns still remembers me, because I have not forgotten all the pleasant evenings spent together with Mr. Peters. Is LAC Pollard in receipt of the N.L.? because if he is I would like to be remembered to him. This morning we were on Church Parade. It caused no end of cleaning, but it was worth it. The Service was very good and the Padre preached on one of the best sermons I have heard in ----''. Pte. Eric Booth writes "I hope, sir, that through the N.L. you will remember me to Jimmy Sutton to whom I owe an apology for not being able to stop and talk with him when I was home on leave, but I was just returning to my unit; also Tom Spencer and Jack Robinson and all the boys of Tarleton. My wife is coming to stay with me a few days at Christmas. She is staying at the Methodist Minister’s house here”. (Eric married Nellie Wilson). O.T. Bert Price, R.N. says “ After receiving the N.Ls like clockwork I feel I know all the lads in Tarleton. I finish my training here in the land of “Haggis, wind and rain” as Sergt. Ernie Ball so aptly describes it. (I have not contacted any Haggis yet but I can vouch for the wind and the rain. I’ll probably go into the patrol service, but that will depend upon the results of the exam. I am anxious to get on active service and do something towards winning the war. Please thank the Bowling Club for their kindness in sending me 30/-, Also remember me to Cpls. Jimmy Holmes and Bill Whittle, and all in their H.G. squads, and to Dick Blundell and CharIie Wright". Pte. John Caunce says, "Most of my platoon are in bed with first inoculation. We are getting good food, and like the Army life very much. I have met a boy friend from Bretherton: I don't know his first name but he is one of the Norris family, John Spencer will know him. The pal I have got from Manchester and myself went for a talk with our Chaplain, and he says we have nothing to worry about in the Army if we take orders as we get them, which seems to be the only way to take them. He has asked us to go to Communion on Sunday morning, so we are going“. ACL Hugh Melling says “It is now tea-time and I have only been out of bed a few minutes. I was duty driver last night so I've been in bed all day. You will probably have heard that I am getting married in January. I shall be home on the 8th. for ten days". A.B. Frank McKean R.N. writes from aboard his Ship, to say “We had same excitement the nature of which I cannot say anything about. I can only say that, we did our work in the true Navy fashion. I hope to make a landfall on England’s greatest village for Christmas. I expect that if you put the last little bit in the N.L. my sailor chums of Tarleton will say that Mac’s writing some flannel”. Sergt. Yory Davies R.A.F. writes “ It amuses me to hear how the villagers ask their relatives to send the N.L. home so that they may get the news. I think you had better run a local newspaper when this war is over. Last Saturday night I went on a Turin raid. It was a long trip as you may imagine, but the results were well worth it. There is no doubt that Turin was well ‘pasted’. I don't suppose that I shall ever forget the sight of the Alps with their snow capped peaks towering below us. Old Mont Blanc looked very majestic away to our left. The visibility was marvellous. I’m not surprised to read of Mussolini's screaming at us after seeing what we are doing to his cities.” A/M Vernon Ogden says "The weather is getting very cold up here now. I have heard that when it does snow here it is very bad. I was hoping to get home for Christmas, but I am afraid now that I shall not manage it”. AC John Sutton (Church road) writes "after reading your gentle hints in the N.L. about certain people not writing to you, I've got down to the job. I would like to send through the N.L. the best of luck to my cousin Hubert out in the M.E. also to my fellow R.A.F. pals, Hugh Melling and Charlie Wright. I hear they are both getting married on their next leave. I hope to be at home at the same time as Hugh, but you won‘t have to worry about me getting married. I’m a confirmed bachelor like yourself". Pte. Lewis Clark says "I’ve been working on a farm sugar beet picking. This is a very quiet place or would be but for the German Planes which bomb the surrounding districts occasionally. I am expecting to be on leave shortly". AC Harold Pilkington says "I want to thank through the N.L. the Bowling Club for their gift of 30/- also Miss Webster for the punctuality of the N.L. and Parish Mag, I would like to be remembered to my brother Ronald M.E.F. wishing him all the best, and also to George Burns and Harry Iddon and all the lads away from the village. I see from the N.L. that you were not very far away from me when you came to York for Consecration of the Bishop" . Mrs. Bond Mere Brow, writes to the rector to say that her son Robert M.E.F. has airgraphed her asking her to ask the rector to thank through the N.L. the Bowling Club for the gift of 30/-, the Mothers’ Union for 10/- and the Women’s Conservatives for 5/-. He has received the N.Ls up to Nov 12th (See last weeks N’L’ for airgraph from Robert direct to rector.) Tom Dickinson who joined the Royal Navy writes “ The food here is very good and plentiful. Please remember me to John Caunce and the Rowland Brothers. We have had a hair cut today. You ought to see mine !!!


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