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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
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April 22nd 1943

My dear Boys and Girls,
A very, very happy Easter to you all. Easter is known as the Queen of Feasts because it is such a beautiful, joyous season. It proclaims the hope of the future and the surety that behind the darkest cloud lies the silver lining. If we are all prepared to share Good Friday, and all that it implies, with our Saviour, we shall also be privileged to share with Him His Easter Day. The whole experience of mankind has taught us how true is the saying "No Cross, no Crown".
"Do This in Remembrance of Me" said our Saviour; so do not fail to make your Communion on Easter Day and thus enter with us at home into the very heart of Jesus, and meet us There, where alone perfect Peace can be found.
With my prayers and my Blessing,
ever your affectionate Padre,

Nothing further has come to hand about Sergeant observer Yorrie Davies reported, as stated in last week's N.L., missing on a bombing expedition over Germany.
We also regret to have to report that Corporal Wireless Instructor Robert Moss, R.A.F. (Hesketh Lane) was killed while flying on Tuesday. He was 23 years of age. His body was brought toTarleton and he was buried in the family grave at Churchtown (Southport) on Friday. The R.A.F. sent an Officer to represent his Unit and his comrades sent some beautiful wreaths. The rector received a letter from him on Wednesday written just before he was killed, which would, in the ordinary way have been in this week's "Extracts."
We also regret to report that Murial Iddon, Sutton Lane, who was engaged to A.C. David Hanson, R.A.F, died on Tuesday. She was 19 years of age. David obtained leave to attend the funeral which was at Tarleton Churchyard on Friday afternoon.
Mrs. Kate Sutton, Mere Brow, a sister of Mrs. Tommy Ascroft, fell on Friday and was so severely injured that she died within a few hours. She was 69 years of age. She was burried at Tarleton Churchyard on Tuesday.
On Thursday afternoon Mr. John Hornby, B.E.M., R.N., attended the Tarleton C.E. Schools with a company of friends, and in the presence of all the children was presented with a solid silver cigarette box, to contain 200, subscribed for by the Managers, Teaching Staff and past and present scholars to mark their pride in his being awarded the British Empire Medal by H.M. King George VI.
Mrs. Hodge, the mother, of Harry Hodge, the clogger, had a slight seizure on Sunday afternoon. She is still in bed, but is doing nicely.
Nellie Pendlebury, Kearsley Avenue, has joined the A.T.S.
Johanna Brocklehurst, Oaklands Avenue, granddaughter of the Robinsons, was taken to Southport Infirmary on Sunday evening suffering from peritonitis. She is getting on nicely.
The little baby born to Mrs. Tom Hurst (Janey Gooden) has, we regret to say died.
Mr. and Mrs. (nee Janey Baybutt, Sollom) Kirby had a baby girl last week.
Mr. Herbert Parkinson, Moss Lane, was elected a member of the West Lancs. Rural District Council last week.
Bert Dickinson, Hoole, worked for Jack Mee has been on embarkation leave. Sergt. Nick Dewhurst has gone abroad. Jimmy Harrison and Ronnie Johnson on leave.

Dvr. John Caunce writes from somewhere on the high seas to say "I am in a hurry so I will make this letter brief. I expect that it will be a long time before you get your next letter from me. Remember me to John Spencer, Frank Foulds, Tom Dickinson and the Rufford Twins". L/Sgt. Harry Forrest, M.E.F., writes "I am doing alright and am very comfortable indeed seeing that I have been ill for nearly three months and away from my company. Thank you for the continuous flow of N.Ls. which I have received. We get our mail periodically owing to the fact that it is delivered by plane. I would very much like Jim Sutton's no. rank and address: If he is still where he was I will look him up. Dvr. Will Ellison writes from North Africa to say "I was quite surprised to see in the N.L. that P.O. Nick Forshaw had got married. All the boys are pulling their weight and doing a fine job of work, here's a little verse from the lads in the camp who love to read the N.L. (This verse is printed separately so that the "extracts" can run on easily). There are some lovely buildings here, but nothing in the shops, and too many Arabs. Remember me through the N. L. to all the boys from Tarleton."
Dvr. Robert Bond M.E.F. writes "There are two boys out here to whom I write, one is Ronnie Ryley of Burscough, in fact I see him quite often, and the other is Charlie Parker of Holmeswood who is an old school mate of mine at Mere Brow. Please remember me to both C Wrights, Bill Hudson and all the boys and girls in the Forces."
Dvr. Billy Harrison writes from North Africa saying "I would like to be remembered to John Caunce and George Farrington, also my brother Tom in India. Tell Tom I am sorry I cannot write as I have lost his address and am waiting to get it from home. Tell him I would rather be on Active Service in N. Africa than back in England. I have been out with my Officer this last 7 days and have covered 1,000 miles, and have seen some lovely places. I am writing this letter by the light in the car which is not too good."
Gunner Ronnie Whiteside writes from M.E.F. to say "I was very surprised to find that the young padre who was with us during our time in Iran was your nephew. I am now with the M.E.F., with the boys of the 8th Army, and I am proud of my comrades. I ask you in your next N.L. to send my best wishes to all my old friends and workmates, and especially to Gerry Pendlebury; and will you please send me his address so that I may write to him."
Pte. Ken Robshaw sends his letter from India saying "I see that Jack Walsh from Sollom has joined the R.A.F., will you please wish him all the best from me. I also see from the N.L. that Tom Rigby is in India. I hope I may meet him. I have seen quite a lot of India since I arrived and have not finished yet. The other night I went to an Indian Picturehouse and my was it hard to understand. We have quite a lot of English pictures out here and I go twice a week. Remember me to all the lads in the Forces, both those at home and those abroad.
Pte. Matt Sutton writes from the M.E.F. "Time here has passed very quickly and it does not seem like 18 months since I left good old England. I suppose it is because our time is fully occupied. Mail has been coming through very well with the exception of sea mail. The winter has been rather a trying time, and hot as the desert may be I prefer the summer time with its hot winds to the biting winds of the desert winter nights."
Stoker Frank Mckean writes from his ship a letter full of news. He begins "Here's the Navy calling Tarleton and all my ship mates, soldiers and Airman chums wherever they may be, through the N.L. Please remember me to our Harley and Dick, also Alf Rowland, Jack Marsden and Tom Dickinson. When the King visited the Fleet my Division was photographed with him on board. In the photograph the King is just behind me, so for once, I am in the picture proper. I see from the N.L. that C.P.O. J.Hornby is meeting some of the lads. If you could squeeze a word in your next letter will you send him my own and the ships best wishes for every success. I was in the little Church where the Rev. Tubby Clayton preaches every Sunday. We have a new Chaplain on board now, and I can honestly say we like him better than our other."
LAC Roger Watson (Moss Lane) writes from India, saying "You'll see from my address that I have moved. Two of your N.Ls. have also caught me up.Wherever I move I almost always find a N.L. amongst my first batch of mail. Please remember me to Malcome Parkinson, Freddie Coupe and Dick Rymer. I wonder if Dick received the letter I sent him in September. I'm living more or less in the Jungle now in mud and bamboo huts!! Packs of hyenas roam round at night and make a horrible row."
Cpl. Jimmy Swift writes from East Africa to say "You will see from the above that I have been promoted to the rank of Corporal. We had a padre down here for a couple of days, We had several services and he celebrated Holy Communion. I really enjoyed them and we are looking forward to him coming again. He was a real good sport and was made very welcome by the boys; he could tell a yarn with the best.
Cpl. Ted Barnish writes from Iraq. "I have not had many N.Ls lately. Perhaps they have got delayed at my old address. To day I had a letter from Vernon Ogden enclosing a cutting from the Tarleton Parish Magazine which told of the first letter - N.L. which I received after coming out of Burma. He says he hopes to be on the same boat which takes me home after this war has finished. In a letter from my mother she told me about the visit you paid her, and what a good chat you had. I am very pleased you called on her.
A/M Vernon Ogden R.N. writes "While I was waiting for draft at ---- I came across C.P.O. John Hornby, B.E.M. Will you please remember me to him, and to all my friends.
Pte. Jack Parker, RA.M.C. (Liverpool): sends a letter from India saying "I had a letter with ---- besides half a dozen addresses the word 'Departed' written across it. They didn't mean the 'departed' as in the Communion Service, not, that is, the Faithful departed. I am wondering whether the Church bells will be permitted on Easter Day. Here there is no restriction for bells. The English Church and the Roman Church have four bells each. They are not as good as an eight peal. There is quite a good Parish Church here. I often manage to go for for Evensong. I will close down now; my tummy tells me that it is time the frying pan was in action."
Dvr. Dick Sephton, Rufford, sends from the M.E.F. to say "I am doing well and have been out of hospital for a week, and am now at a South African convalescent depot. I expect I shall be a couple more weeks here and then no, I won't say rejoin my last company as the way they are doing I should never be able to catch them up. Thanks to the S.A. nurses I had a marvellous time in hospital. I was down at the place where Jimmy Burns was, but I am afraid he has moved, so if you would mention it to him, I should be much obliged, as I haven't his address. Also remember me to Mrs. W. Bridge (Bank Bridge.)
Sgt. Nick Dewhurst writes "The time has come when I have to go and join our lads overseas, so in future will you please send my N.Ls. to the above address. I wish all the best of health, and, by the Grace of God, hope for a speedy Victory and a quick return to our village and friends whom we cherish so much."
Sapper Dick Johnson writes from a Convalescent depot saying "It seems ages since I came into hospital, nearly four months ago, and I am thankful to say that the illness has left no permanent injury. I am now almost fit to go out. I shall soon have been in this part of the world two years. Somehow or other Sunday does not seem the same. Although Services are held it is just another day."
Seaman Jimmy Latham, R.N. says "The letters I receive from my wife and from you and my friends do let some rays of sunshine into one's life. One can capture a little of the feeling of the Tarleton Comradeship for the ones in the Forces. Please remember me to all the Tarleton boys and girls who are in this titanic struggle."
Dvr. Bob Iddon, R.A. writes "I think it is time I sent you a letter. You will see by my address that I have got to a beautiful place, There are mountains on one side of the camp and the sea on the other side.
I passed my driving test a fortnight ago and since then have been cleaning and maintaining motor bikes and find it a very interesting job. Please remember me to my pals in Tarleton.
Marine Alec (Sandy) Laing says "Last Friday we had our first three mile cross country run after marching drill all the morning. After going 'hell for leather' for ten minutes I arrived back at camp fifth man. I reaIly thought that I was due for a handshake; instead of which we were just sworn at and told we had gone the wrong way and had taken a short cut. On Saturday I am expecting the last route march, 18 miles with greatcoat and heavy packs. I should quote that to Capt. Dean and see if he remembers how we used to get fed up at having to walk as far as the Bec. I should like you to mention to him how grateful I am to him and his N.C.Os especially Nick Taylor for the training they gave me, as it has helped me a lot."
A/C Harold Pilkington writes "We are having a very busy time here as you may judge by the activities of the R.A.F. which I must say is a grand Service to be in. I have with me a couple of lads from Ormskirk who find the N.Ls very interesting to read. If possible would you give my brother Ronald (M.E.F.) my best wishes and best of luck. Also remember me to Robert Latham, who is a driver in the R.A.S.C. I went to Church this morning while I had the chance. The Padre is a very nice fellow."
L/Cpl. Abraham Wright sends the following in his letter "A few months ago the Army decided to make me discontented, so they gave me a stripe. It took the O.C. a week to make me put it on, as a parade ground soldier is out of my line. At this kind of work, I am as happy as a duck in water, having been using spanners in most of my Army career. For the last 18 months I have been digging earth up at the rate of approx 2,000 tons a week, over 300 tons a day. Excavators are truly labour savers; every ' lift' on most of our equipment is a ton a time, but there's plenty of work, and grease and dirt.
Cpl. Edwin Crabtree says "The journey back to camp took exactly 18 1/4 hours, so it wasn't such a good start after enjoying 14 days' leave. As I was walking past the rectory one morning a young hare darted across the road in front of me followed by a small dog. Unfortunately it made for a heap of bracken in the field behind Mr. Higham's house and so my visions of a good meal of jugged hare vanished. I am looking forward to seeing some of the boys from the village when I get to the other side" (This has been a good year for hares at the rectory, Edwin. They breed in the orchard.)
Gunner Arthur Harrison writes from the very, very far north saying, ''I thank you very much for the N.L. which had a Mothering Sunday card enclosed with it. My wife wrote to tell me she had been to two Services on Mothering Sunday. I wish I had been with her. She also told me she had seen you scorching along on your bike." (Not so much scorching, Arthur, with my old and tired legs. But I do miss my car.)
Dvr. Albert Becconsall, (Gorse Lane) says. "I do want to thank you for the very welcome N.L received this morning. It had a tour all round Hants as there was a slight mistake in the address. The mistake was that an ' r' had been put in the name of the town when there was no 'r' in it. There is not anything in the way of news to tell you as everything seems very peaceful at the present moment."
Pte. Robert Watson (Mere Brow) writes "Thanks for N.Ls. They are something to look forward to for reading at night. I am somewhere in Devon so I am a few miles from Tarleton. I haven't much time to go to Church on Sunday morning as the cooks are always busy cooking the dinners. But we do have the Padre every Monday after tea from five till six. I don't know what his name is but I will let you know as soon as I can. He is very nice to speak to and very interesting."
Bombadier Dick Blundell sends the following "I have been very busy studying for a trade test as a Motor Mechanic, which I managed to pass at the R.E.M.E. depot last week. I can quite understand how busy Charlie Wright (Tabby Nook) must be." My future wife wrote and told me she had been to see you and make arrangements for the wedding on Mayt 1st. I have just received an order to get all my vehicles filled up with petrol and ammo in time to move off at 5a.m. It is now 8.30 p.m. I've got to run round town looking for my drivers. I shall probably get a few sweet words in Army lingo. But it is all in a days' work. Remember me to all the lads, especially those in N Africa. They have done a fine job by beating Rommel, also making a great name for the good old 25 pounder which, as we think here, is the best in the world.
A/C Freddy Coupe writes from across the water to say "I was not fortunate enough to hear Mr. Herbert Parkinson or Mr. Stansfield on the Radio on Sunday. I had a letter from Raymond earler this week and he has had an airgraph from Roger Watson who has been in hospital, but is now convalescent. Our lads in Africa are certainly doing a good job of work and my thoughts go out to them."
Raymond Coupe (Moss Lane) who is doing important national service work as a research chemist in the South of England writes, "Thanks very much for putting me down to serve on Easter Day. Unfortunately I shall not be home. Fred should, however, be home on leave, and will, I am sure, be only too willing to take my place. I will be home the following Sunday so if you require a server then I am at your disposal"',
L/Cpl Robert Pine sends an airgraph saying "R.S.M. Pearson, who as you will remember, stayed with us at the rectory for a few days, wishes to be remembered to you. Please remember me to Alice, I would like to let you know that I am quite alright up to the present.
Here, as we promised, is the verse composed by Dvr. Will Ellison and the lads of his company who are somewhere in North Africa and all of whom like to read the N.L.

When the world is safe again, and Peace has come to stay,
We'll forget the trials and tribulations of the day;
We'll forget about the things that caused us tears and pain,
The heartaches and the hardships and the striving and the strain,
But there's one thing we shall not forget, whatever else may fade -
The fellowship that we have found, the friendships we have made.
The Comrades who have marched with us;
The pals who shared our load;
The names of good companions we have met along the road.

The excellence of this verse is the more striking when one considers that it was composed by a few lads right up in the North African battle zone.

Prepared for web viewing by Mere Brow Local History Society