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

April 15th 1943

My dear Boys and Girls,
As I write it is a lovely Spring day in Tarleton, and you know what that means. I would that you were all back again to enjoy it with me. Yet here you are scattered to every corner of the earth. But memories of the past do bring us all close together as we muse upon them our days at school; our going from School every Friday afternoon in Lent to the children's Service in Church; our walks on Sunday afternoons to the Tollbar or the carriage drive; our attendance at Church and especially our early Communions. All these and many more of our village custom must be very pleasant to think back upon. They are our treasures stored away in our hearts to be brought out from time to time to give us pleasure and to inspire us. Such treasures are the Gift of God and I pray that we may always keep them untarnished so that, the war being over, we may share them with our children.
With my love and my Blessing,
ever your affectionate friend,

William Ashcroft of Scarisbrick, died Sunday, April 4th, was buried in Tarleton Churchyard on April 7th. He was 63 years of age. Mrs. Harry Monk, who is a Twist and lives on the Moss, has received official notice from the War Office that her husband, Harry Monk, is a prisoner of war in Japanese hands. He was last heard of in Malaya.
Mrs. Jimmy Shepherd. has presented her husband with a son.
Jack Twist (Tarleton Moss) joins the Navy on Tuesday.
Mrs. Barker of Hoole, the mother of William who married Edie Iddon and Jack who married Phyllis Whittle, died on Wednesday and was buried at Hoole on Saturday.
Chief Petty Officer John Hornby, B.E.M., after passing some pretty stiff exams, has been promoted to Commissioned rank in the Royal Navy. He will now be known as Mr. Hornby, and as such he will appear in the future in the N.L. We congratulate him most sincerely upon his promotion, which, as all know, is well deserved.
Pilot Officer I.T. Peters has been officially informed that arrangements have been made for the local A.T.C. Cadets to be taken flights in R.A.F. aeroplane..
On Monday last the following appeared before the Youth Registration Committee, of which the rector is Chairman and Miss Alty, Hon.Sec. George Caunce, Albert Ascroft, Arnold Bailey, Walter Briggs (works for Mr. Arthur Balshaw at Plox Brow), John Sutton (Jackie, Hesketh Lane), and Ellen Sutton, Mount Pleasant, Sollom.

On Leave:
Jimmy Latham (Moss Lane); Tom Southworth compassionate leave on the death of his mother. Arthur Worth, campassionate leave on death of Mrs. Holdcroft. Mr. John Hornby, B.E.M., R.N., on promotion and before being posted to new station.
William Ashcroft, reported above as dead, was the grandfather of James Reed Ashcroft, Mere Brow. He was blown off his bicycle and was killed.
We regret to have to report that Pilot Observer Yorrie Davies, the evacuee schoolmaster from Liverpool, who made himself very popular in Tarleton, has been officially reported missing after a raid on Germany. He was staying with John Melling last week end and came to Church on Sunday morning.
Last Friday, April 9th, was the 25th. anniversary of the rector's being taken prisoner of war by the Germans at Givenchy. He spent eight months behind German barbed wire.

Gunner Philip Rigby (Fermor Rd.) writes from India saying "I have been receiving the N.L.s regularly even if they do come in twos and threes. I would sooner receive an N.L. than a pound note. We get bags of monkey nuts and bananas to eat. My pal and myself have just had leave. We went to a very cool place. I was shivering and when I looked at the thermometer it was 70°. Remember me to the Home Guard boys." Corpl. Jimmy Sutton writes from the 8th Army to say "I have travelled a long way since I last wrote to you. I have seen plenty of places including Tobruck, Derma, Tripoli, etc. And what a journey! It is a lovely day as I write this letter, even the birds are singing. The country-side is very beautiful here, olive groves, fig trees, date palms, and brilliant wild flowers growing in profusion. I often think of the lads who write to you saying they are stationed in desolate spots about 5 miles from the nearest village. They certainly would find plenty of really desolate spots out here 500 miles from a town. Please wish all the best to all in the Forces, and a safe return. P.S. Your N.Ls have followed me all the way." Nurse Nora Pearson (Hesketh Lane) writes from India on Christmas Eve to say "Eating one's Christmas dinner in the heat will be a new experience. The boys are doing quite well with the decorations, and the people outside have been extremely good to us and are entertaining the patients during Christmas week".
Chief Petty Officer John Hornby B.E.M writes "I was pleased to see in the N.Ls that you have had some news from the Tarleton boys in the Middle East. It is nice to know that they are alright in the midst of so great an offensive." Sapper Dick Johnson writes from a convalescent camp in the M.E.F. saying "Life here is very pleasant only an hour's physical training in the morning at 7.30, and an occasional duty. I have only a few more days here (his letter is dated 8.2.43. ) and then I shall be returned to the Base Depot. I hope the last letter I wrote from my last camp reached you alright. The only way of knowing is to see it in the N.L. In the same tent with me is a lad from Leyland, so we have plenty of things to talk about seeing he knows our own particular parish fairly well."
Stoker Bill Abram (Fermor Rd.) writes "I should be very pleased if you would remember me through the N.L. to my brothers in law Frank McKean R.N, Dick McKean R.A.F., and Harley McKean R.A.S.C. Your N.Ls are passed round the Mess after I have read them and now the lads from all round Lancashire all look forward to them, I cannot tell you what I am doing or what I have seen lately because the censor would cut out things like that. Many thanks for the N.Ls."
E.R.M. Harry Alty, R.N. (Hesketh Lane) writes "I am having quite a good look round now that I am down here on my course for Motor Mechanic. I think I remember you saying that your home town is not far from here. Although I find it very nice I don't think it is as good as Tarleton anyway. I expect when you receive this letter you will get a surprise to see who it is from, but, as I told you, I am not very good at writing but I want to thank you for the N.Ls which I receive regularly." Stoker W Melling R.N. (H.B.) writes from many thousands of miles away saying "It is quite interesting to read all the news you send in the N.Ls, one of which I received this morning. I suppose you will know what the climate is like in this part of the world. The people are very kind to the lads and when we go into port we go to their houses just the same as going home; it is quite a change to see a few hills instead of endless water. I am glad to see that Bill Wright and Les Hodson are seeing each other. I only wish that I was with them." Sapper Eric Edmondson sends a cheerful letter saying "To night I drew my pay; so I've a bit of a jingle in my pocket but I shall have to be careful not to strain myself trying to hear it, shan't I?. But I manage to make both ends meet. As you are aware I may be going abroad, but I have no knowledge when or where. I enjoyed reading those verses by Mrs. Harry Sutton you sent with the N.L. Pte. Robert Barron (Hesketh Lane) says."Just a few lines to let you know my new address because we are so often on the move these days. I am now on intensive training and find it pretty rough at times. For instance, we are doing Commando stunts, jumping off the pier in full battle order about 14' high, and all sorts of daredevil stunts. The other day we went to a Battle school. That's a stiff test; you are supposed to be in actual warfare with live munition flying through the air and just grazing your heads. Before I close I would like you to remember me to my cousin Bert Barron, who is somewhere in N. Africa and also to my pal Walter Rawsthorne who is still in Canada." LAC/W Eva Foulds writes "I have been in hospital for three weeks, but they will not tell me what is wrong with me. I am feeling better but as yet have not been out of bed. Please send my love to the boys abroad, and also to Jack Marsden, Tom Spencer and Evelyn Taylor A.T.S., and tell Tom Walsh I would very much like to see him before he goes abroad. I shall be very diappointed if I don't. The Padre here read my N. Ls and thinks them swell, and very interesting." Dvr. Dick Taylor writes "I think myself very fortunate to have been in this country so long. I daresay we shall all have to do our bit when the real show down comes, so I say, roll on the day and let's get the job over. Most of my old mates are in N. Africa. I notice from the N.L. that Fred Taylor is out there. I was very much impressed with the card you sent out for Mothering Sunday. I was very shocked to hear about Mrs. Dobson's tragic death. I always thought her one of the bravest persons I had ever met." Pte. Will Seddon says "I have received the N.Ls quite regularly. You will see from my address that I have moved from Yorkshire to Devonshire. Please remember me to Harold Aspey and Dick Burns, through the N.L."

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