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

March 18th 1943

Dear Boys and Girls,
As we are in Lent it will not be out of place to give you a little prayer in the place of my usual exhortation. It is one that can easily be learned by heart, and it is also one that calls for a good deal of thought, for there is much more in it than meets the eye, Here it is:
Remember, O Lord, what thou hast wrought in us, and not what we deserve; and as thou hast called us to thy service, make us worthy of our calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
May God bless you and keep you all in His loving care,
Ever your affectionate brother,

A double wedding is just announced to take place at Easter. Mary Wilson daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chrys Wilson is marrying Jimmy Ashcroft, and her sister Annie is marrying Pte. George Farrington on the same day. Bombadier Dick Blundell hopes to get Easter leave to marry Alice Johnson, sister of our District Nurse.
Mrs. Goulding (nee Nora Fowler) had a son last week.
Mrs. Llewllyn (nee Annie Hunter) is in Preston Infirmary suffering from appendicitis. Mrs Dick Townsley (nee Alice Rowland) has presented her husband with their first child, a son.
Joe Black, Mere Brow, has been called up.

On leave
Bob Barron; Arthur Barron; Ronnie Johnson; Harry Woosey; Tom Smith; Arthur Harrison; Hugh Wilson (Twilly) of Bretherton, (was a Forshaw's Confectioner): John Carr of Bretherton; John Oscar of Longton.

Mr. Peter Heyes, seed merchant and Florist, of Preston, has died. He was born in Tarleton at the end of Coe Lane in the house where Whittles now live.
Hugh Sutton, of Bretherton, has joined the Navy. John Fazackerley (farmer and Home Guard, Blackgate Lane) has been seriously ill with double pneumonia. He is now recovering.
Schools closed on Monday and Tuesday for mid term holiday, otherwise known as "Teachers' Rest", and "Mothers' Pest". Bring and Buy Sale at British Legion on Saturday in aid of their Comforts' Fund and the Club itself.
Young Tom Forshaw broke his elbow while climbing over a desk in the schools at the Shrove Tuesday Dance. He has had it X rayed and the break can be distinctly seen on the photograph.
Congratulations to Captain Arthur Croft, who is in India, on his promotion. He is in the Royal Artillery and has been in India for some time. His elder brother, Captain Fred Croft, is still a prisoner of war in Italy.
The B.L. Bring and Buy Sale on Saturday reported above made £30. Tarleton is preparing for a "Wings for Victory" week in the near future.
Hugh Rowland is in India, Alf in Canada, and John was home on leave last week. Arthur Dandy has been informed that he will have to leave Garlicks and undertake definite war work. Many members of the Home Guard are now busy having tests for proficiency badges.
Leslie Carr has been granted two month's compassionate leave to help on the family farm as his father has been very ill and cannot work at present. All the other boys are serving either in the Navy or Army.
The enclosed verses were written by Mrs. Harry Sutton, Church Road, and recited by her at the Concert held in the Methodist Schoolroom in aid of the N. L. Fund.

Sapper Dick Johnson sends a long and most interesting letter from the Middle East saying "For the past week or two I have become quite interested in lectures given by the Army Education Corps, especially one given by Padre Smith. I had no idea that this particular spot I am now in actually dates back to Bible days. The Israelites wandered about these parts during their forty days in the wilderness. Pilgrims pass through here on their way to Mecca. A person who has actually been to Mecca is considered somebody and is looked up to, being identified by the red in the top of his turban; whilst a person wearing green hopes, at some time or other, to make the journey. "Please remember me to Tommy Burns and my cousin Henry, and tell Tommy Burns I would like to hear from him."
Dvr. Dick Sephton sends an airgraph saying "The 'push' started in October and I was wounded in late Nov., so I have not been able to write lately as I had a slight wound in my arm. Anyway, it is about O.K. again, so I have no excuse in the future. I still have to have another operation on my foot, and I think that will be the lot, and in another couple of weeks I shall be a fit man again. I must thank you for having a word with my mother as I know by the way she wrote to me that you had put fresh life into her.",
Gunner Philip Rigby sent an air mail letter from India saying "I am still in the same place in the jungle. We went out on a water scheme and I nearly trod on a black cobra. We were soon after it, but it was too sharp for us and got away. The natives have cut and threshed the rice; and what a process it is. It would make you laugh to watch them. They use oxen for carting everything about and they travel at the rate of 2 miles per hour. Remember me to the Home Guard in the N.L."
A.B Jack Marsden, R.N. writes "What is there to write about when you are seeing sea gulls and salt water every day? I've a good crowd of messmates most of them coming from around Lancashire, although like most of the lads away I feel a bit chocker, as the lads say. I must close now and sling the old flea bag up, as it is almost pipe down. Before I sign off I wish to be remembered to all the boys and girls away, especially my pal Sid. and my old workmates Bob Hull and Bill Harrison, and also to my friend Eva Foulds in the W.A.A.F.s". .
O/T John Webster R.N. says "Yesterday morning, before Church Parade, We were chosen as the colour guard, so we had to blanco our equipment. After the ceremony the Officer of the day said we were the best guard he had seen in this camp, so, of course we were quite pleased with ourselves. I would be much obliged if you would remember me to Bert Fawkes, who I suppose will be on the sea somewhere, and to all the lads and girls in the Forces."
From India comes a post card from Pte. Ken Robshaw saying "I am in good health except that I have a bad leg and have been in hospital. I have had a packet of 12 woodbines from the Governor of Assam besides other things. The people here have been very kind to all the troops. I am waiting for the N.Ls to come through. I have had no mail for six months now and seem to be out of touch with things. Remember me to all the lads and wish them the best of luck."
Dvr. Robert Bond sends an airgraph from the M.E.F. saying "I think I can say that I hold the record for mail, well, if I don't, I would like to know who can beat me, for I received 72 letters all at the same time and for the week they amounted to 90. Please let me know if anyone can beat that!! I have heard from 'Chuck' (Charlie Wright, Mere Brow) after months of waiting. Please remember me to all in the Forces from Tarleton, H.B. and Croston. I am well known round all the district., and last of all please tell both Charlie Wrights I am O.K. "
Sapper James Harrison (Kearsley Avenue), says "We get plenty of lectures here (both kinds, and it seems very funny to see a class of men all sitting at desks taking notes from a blackboard. Next week we start on a railway bridge."
A/C 2 Sidney Cookson, Hesketh Bank, writes "We are fortunate enough to have a nice Church on the station, a wooden one, but it does not matter much whether we are in a shed or a palace, does it? I believe David Hanson is on this camp somewhere, and I am hoping to come across him. I would just like to wish the boys and girls of Tarleton and H.B. the very best of luck, especially those across the seas, and we all look forward to the day when we have won the war, but we must also win the Peace that we hope will follow".
L.A.C.W. Margaret Moss, Mere Brow, says "I met my sister in town near here on Friday. She had come to stay with her husband for a few days ( Tom Harrison is in the R.A.V.C.) who is stationed near here. I was sorry to hear of Frank Foster's accident, and I am very glad to hear that he is on the road to recovery."
Sto. W. Hudson, R.N. (Mere Brow), writes "I have now been rated a 1st Class Stoker. I would like you through the N.L. to remember me to my cousin Nick Forshaw, who, I believe, has just got married and has now gone abroad. Also remember me to C. Wright (Chuck) and all the lads and lassies in the Forces. It was grand to see the good old countryside again when I was on leave instead of seeing nothing else but sea".
Gunner Tom Fazackerly, says "We don't get bothered with many jerries now, and a good job too. We saw ours go out in 90s and 100s. It certainly is thrilling; it makes one feel like cheering them on, and it certainly makes one thankful one is not a German. It is marvellous weather here. We met an old man of 91 walking out, and he says that he has never known such weather for February. He is a marvellous old man. His wife asked us to fill her copper as she was going to wash, and she is 81. The other day the old chap was sawing up wood. I think it must be the fresh air."
Sergt. Instructor George Hardcastle, the rector's nephew, writes "I was up in London and saw the "Wings for Victory" parade. Dorothy, my fiancee, was one of the markers in the R.A.F. contingent. If you see a news reel of the procession you might see her. She is in the front row, second from the right as you look at the screen. They were marching in sixes, and she leads the second rank. My job keeps me very busy; I never get a free evening during the week, and have most of my time booked up until the end of May. I certainly see the countryside, having to find my way to all sorts of remote spots".
Sapper Hubert Parkinson says " There is more in the N.L. than what I got to know from home. We have a nice swimming pool here at camp so we shall be alright for taking a plunge when the really hot weather comes. Please remember me to all the lads, especially John Pickervance."

The Newsletter
From our village of Tarleton and just round about,
Many lads have joined up, of that there's no doubt,
There's more than two hundred or so I'm told,
Who hev hed to join th' forces and so leave our fold.

Well every week whether he's busy or not,
Our rector sends a grand letter to th' lot,
Not one is missed out, they're o treated the same,
Whoever they are and whatever their name.

He begins his letter wi a few words of advice,
An often a prayer, for thats varra nice,
Then he tells um o't news, of what's happened in't week,
O't weddings, an funerals an births, and whose sick.

There's nothing missed out, he mon get around,
He seems to know everything for that I'll be bound,
He visits the toll-bar, and asks o th' Home Guard,
Ev they know any news, and he gets it bi t' yard.

Yo con just imagine how it pleases each lad,
How it causes a smile and makes his heart glad,
To read news o Tarleton and what's happening here,
While he's far away, it makes things seem clear.

An lots of our lads write back in reply,
And send thanks to t' Rector an ask him to try
To send greetings to pals that they used to know
Before they went out to drive back the foe.

And whether the lad is on th' land or on th' sea,
Or if he's in th' Air Force wherere he may be,
These letters go out and bring him good cheer
An draw them together from far and from near.

So we'll just do our best, and helpo we con,
To speed the good work until the war's won,
We'll just help the rector to stick to his task
And thats reason to-neet why your help we would ask.


Prepared for web viewing by Mere Brow Local History Society