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

My dear Boys and Girls,
Just one word ' for your information' please, as they say in the Army. Will you always send your change of address direct to me so that I can know where you are. Also if you have not written lately get paper and pencil and correct the omission, Also if you have sent no photograph for the Church, send it on at once or instruct your next of kin to send one to me, Thank you.
All our thoughts go out to those many lads of our village who are in Sicily. Don't forget them in your prayers,
with my love and my Blessing and my constant prayers,
ever your affectionate friend,

On Saturday last Robert Watson, Marshes Lane, Mere Brow, was married at Tarleton Parish Church to Bridget (Peggy) Fitzsimmons, of Row Lane, Southport. Reception and Wedding Breakfast in Mere Brow Schools. Robert, who is a Corporal in the R.A.S.C. was in uniform; his bride was in a white bridal dress of fine figured lace with veil and orange blossoms.
Mrs. Nick Forshaw (nee Maggie Iddon) has presented her husband, who is a Petty Officer, R.N. serving in foreign waters, with a daughter. Mrs. John Dandy, Blackgate Lane has presented her husband with a son, Both mothers and the children are doing well.
Mr. Herbert Parkinon, Moss Lane, is broadcasting for the overseas service of the B.B.C., on July 26th and 27th.
Miss Alice Ellen Butterworth Carr Lane, died on Monday and was buried at Tarleton on Thursday. She was 64 years of age.
Richard Prescott, School House Farm, Mere Brow is being married on Ang. 7th to Betty Ascroft, of Tabby Nook, Mere Brow.
Official news has come that Sgt. Jack Bourn, of Rufford, is a prisoner of war in Japan.
Rosie Twist, the British Legion Queen elect, has been called up to the W.R.N.S., The rector is applying for her to have leave to be crowned at the B.L. carnival by Mr. Wilfred Pickles, on Aug. 8th. The local flight of the A.T.C. go to Camp on July 31st, for a week. Sgt. Ernie Ball is home on leave and his wife has come up from Luton to join him. Cpl. Frank Timperley is also on leave.
Joan Ashcroft of Fermor Road, and Marian Cropper, Boundary Lane, both 9 years of age, held a Garden Party on Saturday on behalf of the N.L. Fund and brought the rector £3. 10s. as the result of their effort.
The rector spent Wednesday in Manchester seeking to get pemission from the N.W. Regional Petrol Officer to bring Wilfred Pickles to Tarleton. He got it. As usual in M - it rained the whole day. The rector has had his car done up and it looks just like a new one.
A body of lads have come to the rector and asked him to start a troop of Boy Scouts, He is doing all he can to start one.

Sgt. Observer Jack Edmondson, R.A.F., sends an airgraph from Canada to say. "We don't have wings parade until to morrow when the Group Captain will adorn out tunics with the cadeted observer's brevet. But this does not mean that my studying is finished; far from it, for now I go into Coastal Command. I hope by the time I finish my next course I shall be able to tell the difference between the canal barges and the battleships. Remember me to cousins, Harry and Nick, and brother in law Ronnie via the N.L. "
Dvr. John Iddon (Carr Lane) in his airgraph, says "I have only met one lad I know all the way from El Alamein to Tunis, and that was Robert Bond from Mere Brow. I can tell you it was very nice meeting someone you know. Give all the boys and girls my best regards, and also my brother Harry."
Gunner Ronnie Whiteside (H.B.) sends per air mail, to say, "The Indian Division was inspected by the King and other high officials and everything looked a treat. On Whitsunday we had a special padre to give us our morning Service and as I stood my thoughts went home to the same day when we came to your Whitsunday parade. I am glad to see that you are still holding the crowning of the Village Queen and I hope it will be a success."
L/Cpl Harley McKean airgraphs from the M.E.F. "I am glad to see from the N.L. that Frank Foster is on the road again. At the moment of writing I am stationed at a very famous port way up the desert, but I have not seen anyone I know yet. My people from home have written to say that my brother Richard (R.A.F.) has arrived out here and I am trying to contact him.
Cpl. Jimmy Burns in his airgraph from the M.E.F. says "From the N. L. I see that quite a few of the missing lads are coming to light as Ps o W. I keep receiving a few words from our Tom and Ronnie Pilkington. It is very nice to have a few old companions out here to write to. Please ask Jimmy Leasy and Harry Crook when they are going to write to me again. I would be glad if in your next N.L. you would give my best wishes to Dick Sephton, my brother Tom, my brother- in law Harry Forest, both in Africa, also my brothers Dick and George, both somewhere in England."
Trooper Jeffrey Wignall sends a letter from a Middlesex town very near to where the rector was born. He says "I cannot tell you much about this place but it is rather out of the way and very nice. The food is good and the camp is modern with every facility for keeping oneself tidy. Please remember me to all the lads in the Forces and especially to my brother in law Harry Rigby in the M.E.F."
A.B. Will Ball (Newarth Lane, H.B.) writes from his submarine which is a very famous one, to say "I was pleased to meet you when on leave and have a short yarn. The place where I am based at present is really beautiful and I'm having a really good time. I have met quite a number of people ashore who have made us very welcome and invited us up to their houses."
O/S Hugh Sutton, R.N., (Bretherton) writes, "I am going on foreign service, but I have no idea where I am going to. They don't tell you anything here. I will send you my new address as soon as I get it. Excuse haste as I have a lot of packing to do."
Sto.Tom Spencer, R.N. writes "You can tell Bill Melling (H.B.) that I am engaged, but not to the landlady's daughter. From one more of the village lads reporting, but not for duty."
L/Cpl. Harry Price writes from the Far Middle East, i.e. Iraq, saying "Firstly I must express my joy on hearing of our three boys now captive in Japan. We all pray for their safe return. Please extend to all my friends and pals in H.M. Forces my sincere regards especially to my brother Bert and also to Tom Tindsley, who so kindly remembered me in one of the N.Ls. I have visited many holy cities here, Karbala, Kufra, Nasriyth, and have seen the Golden Towers of Kerbals, the ruins of Babylon, the holy shrines of Hillia and many other eye openers.There are many shepherds who can know all their sheep by name, and the sheep follow the shepherds instead of the other way about as in England".
L/Cpl. Tom Tindsley. R.E., attached to a Batt. of the Guards, writes "Once more I am back amongst the grime and grease of the tanks, and at times look like a veritable "grease monkey". It is Sunday morning about 9 am. and I am sitting in a bell tent with the pole for a back rest and an overturned wash bowl as my easy chair. It is raining hard and the weather is hardly ideal for camping. This is not my ideal way of spending Sunday of all days, but we have to do much these days that does not satisfy our inner selves. And finally may I toast ' the best little newspaper in the world.' Gunner Arthur Harrison writes from the far, far north, saying, "I saw Harold Aspey's name in the N.L. Will you tell it's time he left H.Q. and started to do some gun drill. He has had it cushy long enough. He will smile when he reads it. It's ages since I saw him, for in the good old days we used to work together, Harry Cookson had a bad accident last week. His mate who was working with him told me that he was welding on a tank with a blow lamp and he must have got too near the tank as it exploded. They took Harry to hospital. I went down to see him last Saturday but they had moved him away and wouldn't tell me where he was. So I went to his camp to see if his mates knew but they don't. I will have another walk down tonight."
Stoker John Twist writes "You will see from my address that I have moved again. It is a nice place here but rather lonely. Please give my kind regards to all the boys and girls from Tarleton in the Forces."
Pte. William Lowe (Sollom) sends a letter saying "I like the Army life very well and I have got a good mate and am in a good squad. I have to wait until I have finished my training here before I apply to go into the Guards. Well, how is the Home Guard getting on without me ? This morning I went to a Church Parade at the Cathedral.

Prepared for web viewing by Mere Brow Local History Society