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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
Reproduction by any means strictly prohibited.
1943 news from the home front
January 7th 1943

My dear Boys and Girls,
We were greatly honoured in last week's N.L. with New Year Greetings especially written for us by the Archbishop of York and our own Bishop of Blackburn. On your behalf I have thanked them for their great condescension in thus writing to us. As I have received roughly 200 letters from you this Christmastide, and almost as many cards, it stands to reason that I cannot possibly give extracts from them all. So we will make a new start this week and I hope that you will write as regularly as circumstances permit. I thank you one and all for your kind thoughts which have deeply touched me and have filled me with pride, pleasure, and humility.
As you know, my very dear children, you are never for one moment out of my thoughts and my Prayers. I have watched you grow up and for the last twenty years we have known each other very intimately, and it goes to my heart to find you still retaining that love and friendship, which we have mutually enjoyed during that long period.
With every Blessing I am able to bestow, and with every good wish for you all for the coming year, ever your affectionate friend and pastor,

Bring and Buy Sale in Schools organised by Agnes Spencer, Mary Ascroft. Mary Baybutt, Norah Forshaw, Annie Bridge, Muriel Hodson and Alma Macmarn, opened by Mrs. Kerruish. Good attendance, made £12.19s. for M.U. Comforts' Fund. Bouquet presented to Mrs. Kerruish by Colin Dandy. Bert Dickinson of Hoole (from Jack Mee’s) on leave over Christmas, and Douglas Thomnson and Harry Bamford of Bretherton have joined up. Mere Brow S.S. Tea Party on Wednesday last. After tea the elders collected £1 amongst themselves and gave it to the rector for N.L. Fund. A Social Evening followed tea, with music by gramophone with new amplifier which cost £30. Rector called on Mrs . Schwartzman to see how Harry was getting on. He is suffering from shell shock. His boat was in terrific blitz. He is now in a Scottish Hospital and doing as well as can be expected. New Year's Dance in Schools was a great success. The School was packed. 351 people paid for admission. Rector wished all a Happy New Year and said he would like to see all our own lads back taking the place of many strangers, or almost so, present. Church S.S. Party held in Schools on Saturday. Children brought their own food. Prize giving after tea and then games etc. What cakes etc. that remained over were given to an A.A. battery. Mrs. Sephton, Rufford, has telephoned the rector to tell him that she has had a letter from Dick wounded in M.E.F., to say he is in hospital in Libya, and is doing well. Hugh Melling is marrying Jennie Slinger on Saturday at H. B. Parish Church, the rector of Tarleton is taking the service. A Dance and Social, organised by the Hoole and District Homing Pigeon Society, under the leadership of Mr. Orritt of Hoole was held at Hoole last Saturday evening, and realised £64 for the Red Cross Fund. The rector has received 200 Christmas Cards and greetings from Tarleton boys and girls now on active service. In spite of all the lads being away more people made their communion on Christmas Day at Tarleton Parish Church than ever before. The rector was pleased and proud to be served at the Altar by the following on leave, Jimmy Parkinson, R.A.F. Billy Benjamin, R.A.F., Ernie Ball, R.A.S.C., Jack Robinson, R.A.S.C., Tom Dickinson, R.N. Raymond Coupe. It was quite like old times.

A rare and very long and interesting letter comes from Lieut. Arthur Croft R.A. from India, saying, "Will you please publish my address and ask Harry Devitt and Richard Rymer to write to me." (The address is Lieut. A. L. Croft, c/o Grindley’s Bank, Karachi, Sind, India.) He goes on "I found myself on sick leave at .You may remember that I spent two years at ---- before the war as a tea planter. Naturally I met a lot of old pals and spent several days visiting plantations. It was a first class leave." L/cpl. Frank Foster sends an airmail to say "Bert Fawke says he envies the boys who can talk of trekking through the jungle. I can assure him that civilization is to be preferred. Jungle warfare is no bed of roses. It isn't the actual jungle that is objectionable but the insect life thereof. I have many good civilian friends, Tamils and Singhalese. I am getting an appreciable amount of reading in; my recent books have included Kagawa's "Meditations on the Cross" and Church's 'In the Quietness', and most of Tagorets' works. I thank you for the N.Ls." Another air mail letter comes from Dvr. Ronnie Pilkington saying "I would like to be remembered to the boys and girls, especially to my brother Harold, now serving with the R.A.F., also my old friend J. Moore, R.N., of H.B., a friend I have not met for the past two years. I know he will be pleased to hear from me after such a very long time." Sto. Tom Spencer R.N. writes, "To morrow night I will be taking my N.L. to my old billet for my land lady's daughter to read, for she asks me for them every week. Everybody likes reading them as well as the Tarleton people. Please remember me to my two cousins, Harry Alty, R.N. and Tom Fazackerley, R.A. also W.A.A.F. Eva Foulds, and ask Jack Ashton if he knows Tom Wood of Rochdale, who is in the same ship with me. Dvr. Fred Taylor begins, "Well, rector, I am now able to tell you where I am. I am in North Africa, and I am alive, glad to say. We all arrived safe and sound." Cpl. Doris Molyneux W.A.A.F. says "There was a lovely dinner on Christmas Day, and, as usual, we were waited on by the Officers. I expect you remember the custom from your Service days. It always causes great fun. The foxes seem to be accumulating round our district. It seems strange that so many appear all at once when there used to be none at all." Pte. Jack Parker sends an airgraph to say "We arrived safely in India and I enjoyed the trip over. Life here is but little different to life at home, but we have eaten enough bananas to sink a ship. The trains are not so good as those at home, but it only costs 50 rupees (£3.15s) to stop them compared with £5 at home." L/cpl. Tom Tindsley says "I am an Instructor helping to train future Guardsmen wireless operators. The work is quite interesting and in some respects I have almost felt like a schoolmaster again, though my class is made up of somewhat bigger pupils. In the report of my engagement you made in the N.L. there was a slight error. I am in the Royal Corps of Signals, and not in the R.E.s as you reported. The Signals were a part of the R.E.s in the last war, and only became a separate Unit or Corps. just afterwards, as no doubt you know." Pte Arthur Barron (old Post Office) writes, ''I must say that life is a complete change to what I have been used to, but I have settled down very well. The training is pretty stiff, Home Guard is quite easy compared with it. The food and conditions are first class. Please thank the M.U. for their kindness to me." AC/2 Freddy Coupe says “I had quite a reasonably good Christmas. I saw a Pantomime, Little Red Riding Hood, and went to the Pictures twice, and also had a good day in town, I had some good food and on the whole I cannot grumble.“ Pte. Ronnie Sergeant writes "We have just got over a big 'spit and polish' parade, on which we were inspected by H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester. We gave the Royal Salute, accompanied of course, by the bugle band and for the March Past the pipe band played the Regimental March. I believe the Duke was quite pleased with the turn out. I am going on another course on the 7th, this time for further upgrading at the Motor Fitters' School there." L/Cpl. Ted Barnish writes from India says "When I was in Burma the N.L. was a tonic, especially near the end when things got rather bad. I believe my brother Alec in the M.E.F. had his first experience of action a short while ago. I was glad to hear that he came through alright. I would give a anything just to have a chat with him and with a bit of luck we may meet again in the near future.” Sapper George Barker says "I do not want to loose contact with the great N.L. which I missed so much while I have been in hospital. I spent four weeks in hospital and the following five weeks in convalescece, or supposed to be, but most of my time, with the matron's consent, I was working at a nearby farm tractor driving and milking etc. Please remember me to Bert Marsden, also my best wishes to Frank Cairns, R.A.F. the Hoole and Tarleton lads, to Norman Barron and Jack Gidlow " Dvr. Albert Becconsall asks "I wonder if you could find a little space in the N.L. to thank the M.U. the Women's Conservatives, and the Women's Section, British Legion for their most welcome gifts?" Pte. John Caunce writes "I have had a very good Christmas, and hope you have had the same. The boy that I said came from Bretherton is not named Norris but funnily enough his name is Bretherton, so you can say Bretherton from Bretherton. You can tell John Spencer that he had better put in plenty of practice at Billiards if he wants to beat me when I come home on leave.” J. PERM Harry Alty, R.N. writes, "If you have room in your N.L. sometime, will you please remember me to my cousin Tom Spencer R.N., also Alf Rowland R. A.F., John Webster, R.N. and all the boys and girls of Tarleton."


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