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

May 20th 1943

My dear boys and girls,
Well, this has been an exciting week, and a most encouraging one. We must all thank God for the great Victory in North Africa. All the week our thoughts have been with those of our lads who are in the first and eighth Armies, and we earnestly pray that they are safe and well. Many of them are now seasoned veterans and we shall be most satisfied if they are allowed a leave, however short, to visit their loved ones at home before being called upon for further service abroad.
One thing we must not do. We must not relax our efforts one jot or one tittle until final victory is achieved. Two efforts must be made simultaneously. We must continue instant in prayer as men convinced that we are waging a righteous war, and we must buckle on our armour and go forth as Crusadors with the firm conviction that "our help is in the name of the Lord."
With my love and my Blessing,
ever your most affectionate brother,

Maurice Haskell, Ronnie Iddon (works for Cleggs), Edwin Hodson, and Billy Lowe (Sollom) all went for their medicals last week and all passed A.1.
Jim Coulton (Becconsall Lane) J.W. Parkinson (Chapel Road), both of H.B., and Howard Gabbott, Hesketh Lane all joined up last week and were all sent by sea not so very far away from England.
Henry Whittle, coal merchant, is being married on Whit Monday to Maggie Sephton, of Rufford.
John Rogers, Sollom, has been promoted Second Senior Warden in the local A.R.P.
John Caunce and Sid Ball had no sooner landed in North Africa than Rommel hopped it and von Arnim surrendered. Someone must have told Rommel and Co. that they were on the way out.
Congratulations to John Caunce, in B.N.A.F. on celebrating his 21st Birthday last Monday.
The rector went to Bournemouth on Wednesday to visit his brother who is in a Nursing Home there.
Two fairly large wooden buildings are being erected in the School Garden at Tarleton for the use of the A.T.C. as Headquarters.
Kenneth Baxter (H.B.) has gone overseas.
The following Hesketh Bankers have been on leave quite recently:- Tom Miller; Bert Miller; Rigby Melling; Albert Blackburn; Dick Baxter; Jack Baxter; Henry Baxter; J. Garlick; Nicholas Wright; James Woodhead; and Clarence Iddon.

A. C.1. Walter Rawstorne, R.A.F., sent a well typed airgraph from Canada saying "My last N.L. received to day contains extracts from my pal's (Tom Rigby) letter. I was pleased to hear he is alright and has written to me. Please tell him I am alright and wish him the best of luck. Also tell Frank Foster that I'am glad he has got over his accident. We have had the worst winter experienced over here for 40years. You will see that to day is Easter Monday and we celebrated it with a little Service after which the padre presented us each with a copy of the New Testament. Best wishes to all in the Forces."
L/Cpl. Harley McKean writes from the M.E.F. saying "I notice in the N.L. that Abraham Wright has gone and got married. Please convey my best wishes for his future happiness to him. You will remember that he and I were in the T.A. together. I am quite alright over here, no complaints at all; there's the eternal sand, and flies, of course, but somehow one gets used to them."
Dvr. R. Bond begins his airgraph from the M.E.F. with a testimonial. He says "I think it is the most useful newsheet ever founded for local serving Forces. I only hope the time will come when you can tell us all your news personally. I will ask you to remember me to all in the Forces, especially Church and the other C.W. It is a long time since I heard from Chuck. "
Dvr. Billy Harrison, B.N.A.F., before he chased Rommel out, to say, "Since I came to North Africa I have covered about 10,000 miles, so I have got about a bit. This week I have been taking the padre about, visiting the companies, and I have enjoyed it as I have had time to attend his short Services. It was just like home. Last week I was standing at the gate of our camp with a little French boy two years old in my arms when Stanley Johnson (H. B., married Polly Hunter) went past in his waggon. He pipped his horn and laughed, so it must have amused him. I suppose he will be writing and telling you. Please remember me to John Caunce, George Farrington and my brother Tom.
Pte. James Coulton, Hesketh Bank, who was only called up last week and is now somewhere across the water, writes, "I find it impossible to have a leave while we are here. This camp is very lovely indeed and has every convenience and extraordinarily good food. From where we are we can see the mountains and the beautiful sea. Howard Gabbott is here and is in the same company."
Gunner Arthur Harrison writes from the very, very far north to say "I got a letter on Saturday from one of my old pals in my last Regiment. He was asking me if Mr. Force was still sending the N.L. He says he misses it very much. I have never seen as many primroses in my life as there are here. If my wife (Dolly) could just see them she would be busy. I have some good news for you; Harry Cookson is moving to a camp next to ours, so we shall be seeing more of each other and it will be grand to have someone from Tarleton so near."
L/Cpl. Arnold Bosworth (was an assistant at the co op) writes to say "A few weeks ago I received a card from Herbert Nutter, and he appears to be very cheerful. In a letter I wrote to him I mentioned that I had been told that he was learning the building trade in Germany. In his reply he denied it, and he actually got past the censor with the remark 'There would be too many bricks dropped 'accidentally,' if they put us on that job.' So it appears that Germans don't appreciate English Humour. "
Cpl. Bert Price writes saying "Last Friday night four of our lads went for a walk to the nearest shop to play a darts' match (which ended in a win for our gang) but it poured with rain and we got soaked through. This wasn't all, for on arriving back at camp we found the beds flooded and all our blankets wet through, but we didn' t worry. We just got into a wooden hut and snuggled together in our overcoats and were soon fast asleep. Next week with 3 others I go on a mine-laying and booby trap course for 8 days. Please return my best wishes and good luck to my brother Harry in Iraq, and all my pals averywhere.
Stoker John Twist, R.N., writes "I was very sorry to hear that Ken Dandy was ill. He went to school with me. Please remember me to Tom Dickinson and Peter Dawson, both in the Navy. Tom Spencer began his career in the Navy in my present ship. If all the boys from the village do their stuff like the boys in the Middle East it won't be long before we are all home again."
Cpl. Benjamin, R.A.F., writes saying "The camp here is not completed yet. All the drivers and Corporals are digging drains and laying pipes from 8 o'clock in the morning till 8 o'clock at night. I can't remember where you were at college, but I suppose you know Cambridge and the surrounding districts." (I know every nook and cranny in Cambridge, Billy and only wish I were there at this moment walking down K.P.)
Trooper Harry Whitehead (H.B.) sends a letter from his Remount Depot, saying "I am felling timber at present with a lad from Longton who likes to read the N.L. We have just ploughed about 20 acres of land and set it with potatoes. We expect to be going into camp before long, but if the weather does not improve it will not be much good. I have had my share of camping in the rain."
L.A.C. Hunter L.M. sends a cheerful letter to say "I have now completed my initial training and am waiting for a draft to take me overseas to finish my training. I have only been here a week but I think it one of the nicest places in the country. We are under canvas having rather a rough time, but nevertheless a grand time. Please remember me to John Webster, Jack Marsden, and Harry Hoyle of Hesketh Bank, who is in the R.A.F."
Gunner Harry Woosey writes "I am still room orderly for the drivers and we get plenty of amusement such as concerts, pictures, dances and whist drives. I see there are now many of the local boys out in north Africa. It won't be long before Rommel and Arnim are ousted. (Our boys had done the trick before your letter arrived, Harry.) Remember me to all the lads and lassies, with a word to my brother in law Eric Booth, also Jimmy Latham, and I wish Bdr. Dick Blundel much happiness in his marriage. Like Dick says the 25 pounder is a great gun, the best in the world."
Marine Sandy Laing sends a letter with a new address saying "I arrived here on Tuesday, and instead of finding a nice clean camp like the last one, I saw a lot of rusty old huts like enlargad air-raid shelters (Andersons) with no really good roads. The camp is spread out all over a mountain top, and when we want a wash or a meal we have to walk up and down the mountain side. Please remember me to all the lads at home in your N.L. and also to John Caunce, Tom Dickinson, Harry Iddon (R.M. ) Bert Fawke, and all the other lads in the Forces whom I know."


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