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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
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October 14th 1943

My dear boys and girls,
My letters seem to get shorter and shorter. But really I have so much more interesting 'stuff' that I have to keep them short. But one word. Week by week I send out to you all the local news and also give you some idea of what your homes mates are doing. Ask yourself this, "Am I one of those who never make my contribution to the N.L., i.e. who never send the rector a letter in return for 52 letters from him every year?". I am sending my double Christmas number next week so that those abroad can get it in time. I want a few more verses.
Who can compose them?.
With my love and all my prayers,
ever your affectionate friend,

Home Front News.
Mrs. Hornby, of Fermor Road, who was 79, and has been blind for a few years, died on Monday and was buried at H.B. Churchyard on Friday. The Rector of Tarleton took the funeral service. Mrs. Hocking, of Kearsley Avenue, died on Monday and was buried at Tarleton on Friday. She was 59. The Rector took the funeral service. Mr. Connor, of Oaklands Avenue, died on Monday and was taken away for burial. He was a Roman Catholic.
Mrs. Kenneth Parkinson (nee Ann Tamilty of West Hartlepool) has presented her husband, who is in the Army, with a son. John Croft, son of Dr. and Mrs. Croft has joined the Navy. A soldier lad from Mawdesley, billeted near Salisbury, went to look round the Cathedral. Imagine his surprise when he found on a seat in the Cathedral a copy of the Rector's News Letter. How did it get there?
Eric Bolshaw is marrying Olive Rigby in three weeks' time. Olive Rigby is the sister of Mrs. Jimmy Leacy.
Henery Sutton, Mill Lane Farm married Mary Baron of Doctors Lane, Sollom, on Thursday. A very quiet wedding.
Pearl Whitehead, Hesketh Bank, niece of the Misses Alty, has joined the British Voluntary Ambulance Corps as a motor ambulance driver.
Austin Barton, who was severely injured in a motor bike accident in North Africa is now home. He may be invalided out of the Army.
Jimmy Twist, Tarleton Moss, is being married on Saturday.
The Local A.R.P. have set aside Monday evenings for the purpose of debating topical interesting subjects. The rector opened the Session on Monday evening with a debate of "Can we make this world a place fit for heroes to live in?". Quite a number of people took part in the debate after the rector had spoken.
The Schools have broken up for a fortnight for "prater piking."
The rector visited Mrs. Fishwick in Preston Infirmary and found her doing well.
Mrs. Jeffrey Wignall is staying with her husband for a fortnight about 4 miles from the place where the rector was born in Surrey. Mrs. Wignalll is, of course, better known by her maiden name of Grace Rigby.
Billy Lowe is now on leave. He is in the Loyals.
The rector has received a letter from his old friend Lieut General Adrian Carton de Wiart, V.C., D.S.O., M.C. etc. who is now in England after being a prisoner of War in Italy for 2 1/2years. Another old friend of the rector is also in England. He is Lieut General Sir Pierre van Ryneveld, Chief of Staff of the South African Army. He came over with Field Marshall Smuts.
We all have to thank Hazel Barlow, who now keeps the shop opposite the Mission Room, in Hesketh Lane, for having raised £3.17s for the N.L. Fund. John Coulton, Newarth Lane, H.B. was a member of the crew of H.M.S. Intrepid, reported sunk last week. Fortunately he was not on board as he had gone "sick" with an attack of excema.
On Leave. Bert Price, William Lowe, and William Bailey.

Extracts from Letters.
A.B. Jack Marsden, R.N. who is far, far, away on the rolling ocean, sends an airgraph saying "I had a pleasant surprise a few weeks ago. I had just stepped off ashore, and was on the train going up to town, when who should I run into but Bob Iddon from Hesketh Bank, an old friend of mine who is also in the Navy. You bet we had a good talk about old times and had a good night together before we parted. Please remember me to all in the Forces, especially to my old pal Sid Ball, and to Reg. Johnson and Tom Wright, and also to Eva Foulds".
AC/2 Freddy Coupe writes from the Bahamas, saying "The electrical storms here are a magnificent sight, they light up the place more than searchlights or bombs. It has not been much cooler in spite of all the rain we have had. I paid my usual visit to town this week, and met a French boy in the Bahamas Club. He gave me three very good games of table tennis. At the moment I am reading a book called "The last rain from Berlin". It has some good descriptions of Germany up to 1941 in it".
Pte. Jack Parker writes from India saying "I had a day off duty today so I went, with another lad, up to the Peak not the one in England. It was fairly tough going, the sun was so hot. The Peak is 6,641 ft. above sea level. Our camp is about 5,000 ft up. I would like to hear the Tarleton Church bells again coming across the fields to the Rectory. I think I told you that I had a letter from my brother Sid who is a prisoner of war in Italy. My mother has since heard that he had been transferred to Germany, so we shall have to wait a few more months before he is free".
AC/1 Tom Parkinson airgraphs from the M.E.F. saying "I spent my 7 days' leave with a pal from Nelson, Lancs, at Jerusalem, and believe me we had a full 6 days of sightseeing. It would take a book to explain all we saw. It was a good lesson for me, for I saw some of the most beautiful sights anyone could wish to see. It is one of the benefits this war service has given me. I saw the old City of Jerusalem, Nazareth, Jericho, Samaria, and the Sea of Galilee. I stood in the very place there St. Joseph had his workshop. I drank water from Jacob's well and stood by the Pool of Siloam. Please pass on my best wishes to all members of the Forces and also to the S. S. Teachers and scholars".
Pte. Ralph Whitehead sends an airgraph from the M.E.F. to say "My brother Harry is still with me, so his address will be the same as mine. No N.Ls since we landed out here but I expect some will be on the way. Thank you very much for all the others I have received. Please remember me to Alf Rowland and Dick Townsley and all in the Forces from home. Dick Townsley came out with me. I am keeping quite well and am getting a bit more climatised. The winter will start here in about six weeks".
L/cpl Harley McKean airgraphs from M.E.F. "No NLs for a week or so, but I hope they will come soon. I am happy to say that as yet my brother and I are still together over here, but how long this state of affairs will prevail it is impossible to say. However it has helped things along for both of us. I saw George Formby and his wife Beryl at the Garrison Cinema here. It was terrific, of course, and I would have liked to have had a word with him, but this was not possible." (If any lad does see George or his wife and just mentions Tarleton or the rector to them they will be sure of a good reception).
Gunner Philip Rigby writes from India to say "I have just received six N.Ls from you and have spent a couple of hours reading them, as I always read them at least twice through. Two of them must have been round the world a few times as one is dated January '42, and the other Dec. '42, so one is nearly two years old, but better late than never.
The rain has fetched the snakes again. A few days ago I killed a russell viper, one of the deadly kind. Remember me to Bill Ellison through the N.L, and also to all in the Forces and the H.G."
E.R.M. Dick Burns, R.N., writes from his ship to say "I am still on the same kind of work and enjoying it to a certain extent, but you know I am in my glory when I am taking anything to pieces and fitting it back again, and surprising as it seems it works when I have finished; so after this war is over I should be an all round mechanic, as I have had a good insight of diesel and now I am working on steam, and its not everyone who gets the opportunity of working on both. Please pass on my best wishes to my brothers and brothers in-law".
O/A James Sutton, R.N. who is at present on a shore job, writes "This place is a very small village and it suits me down to the ground. I go out gathering mushrooms and things like that. On Sunday we go to some nice Services in the little Church we have near, and after that we go out for a stroll with the local land girls; so you can see it is nearly like home. We are in very good billets and as there are only 15 of us all told there are no arguments. Please remember me to all my friends and best wishes to all the boys and girls in the Forces from Tarleton and H.B."
L/cpl Sandy Laing writes "I have got my first promotion and in three weeks' time I hope to gain my second stripe. For the last 3 weeks I have been very busy training to instruct and lead men, and it is a very interesting course. At times it get's very tough going. But the time will come, if I pass, when I shall have to get other men toughened up. It is really suprising what one can do when one has to do it".
Gunner E. Harrison writes from Scotland. to say "Thanks for the N. L. which I received last Wednesday. It is the first one I have had since I was called up. It is certainly well put together and gives you all the ' griffen' as they call News up here". (The rector very much regrets to say that he has no idea who E. Harrison is. Someone must have given him the name and address, and long before his letter arrived he had been making enquiries in the village about his identity without success. So will E.Harrison please write again and say who he is and the N.L. will continue to be sent week by week. He probably comes from H.B., or Hoole, or it maybe Rufford).
Gunner Arthur Harrison sends one of his ever welcome letters from somewhere near the North Pole, saying "I was pleased indeed to see you again when I was home on leave. Your Church looked very beautiful and I was thinking as my wife and I were looking at the Photographs in the Lady Chapel, - if only the boys were home. But let us hope that it
will not be long before we are all home for good".

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