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November 4th 1943

My dear boys and girls,
Here comes my Christmas number. Those few in England may think it rather early in the day, but I am hoping that it will reach those many abroad just in time for Christmas. Well, first of all let me wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a Bright new Year, and may 1944 carry with it the end of the War and the return in safety of all our boys and girls. This must be our constant prayer. Below you will find a letter especially written for you by the Chaplain General. He is, as it were, the Bishop of all the Army personnel, and is at the head of all the Army Chaplains. We thank him for writing the letter. So once again, the very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
With all my prayers for you all, with my Blessing and my love, ever your affectionate friend and companion,

War office,

Message from the Chaplain General to the Forces:
I have read with much interest some of the copies of the "Weekly News" which your rector has sent to me. It is evident that he has a deep understanding of human nature. I can think of no better Christian service in war time than that of keeping those away on service in touch with their loved ones at home, and your rector has contrived to do this in a most entertaining manner.
Show the "Weekly News" to your Chaplain; it will be an excellent means of introduction. Make friends with your Chaplain he will be only too glad to help you if you are in difficulty.
Yours very sincerely,
Chaplain General.

Banns of marriage were published for the first time on Sunday for James Ashcroft, Sollom and Alice Abram, Blackgate Lane. Wedding on November 20th.
George Wait of the Lock, joins up next week. He is going to the G.S.C.
Little Maureen Sutton, who is in the Children's Hospital, Liverpool with a tumour on the brain, is still very seriously ill. The Corinthians played the Southport Cadets at home on Sunday and licked them 10 - 0.
The infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Whitehead (nee Mary Edmondson) was christened in Tarleton Parish Church on Sunday with the name of Roger. Mr. James Edmonson stood proxy as Godfather for Ralph junior who is in the R.A.F.
On Wednesday at Ormskirk, Group-Captain C Walter. O.B.E., R.A.F., presented Tarleton with a Certificate for doing so well in the recent Wings for Victory week.
Fred Forshaw, who is in India, has been down with malaria, but is better again.
Mr John Hornby, B.E,M., R.N., who has recently seen a good deal of fighting, called on the rector one day this week.
Sgt. David Hanson. R.A.F. has recently got his flying wing, and is taking part on operational flying over enemy territory. He came on leave last week and became engaged to Lillian Tindsley, of Moss Lane whom he has known for some time.
Annie Monaghan has gone as nurse at a Military Hospital near Manchester.
Mrs. Frank Timperley (nee Margaret Garlick) has presented her husband who is in the Guards, with a daughter.
Mr. and Mrs Cyril Rimmer, Shore Road, H.B. have had a little daughter.
Eddie Farrell, Tarleton Lock, has joined the Navy.
Arthur Barron, Hesketh Lane, joined up on Thursday.
Corporal William Whittle (Big Will), on Home Guard duty near Bank Hall, was run into by a jeep setting down hitch hikers, and damaged in the leg. Ann Barron, now a Nurse, and home on leave, was just passing so she administered First Aid. No serious harm done to Will.

Dvr. John Caunce writes from a General Hospital in North Africa where he has been sent from the C.M.F. to say "As you will see I am in hospital somewhere in the Middle East, waiting for a small operation on both my feet. Remember me to John Spencer and Frank Foulds, also to all the Tarleton boys in the Forces. I have not received any letters or parcels for about four weeks, so probably they are following me from Scicily. If you reply to this letter straight away I should just about get it while I am in hospital. Please remember me to James Taylor and all the drivers. It Iooks as though you will have to save my Christmas dinner for another year, unless things turn out quicker than we expect."
Gdsmn Aubrey Smith writes from the C.M.F. saying "At present we are having 48 hrs rest (light duties). I happen to be in the same place as John although I have not been fortunate enough to see him (see above Aubrey, for reason you have not seen John). I am glad to hear that Ernie is still in Blighty. I only wish that I could have been in Tarleton to see the Bowling Club Horticultural Show. I expect that you hear more on the Wireless about our doings out here than we do ourselves. Give my hearty congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Wignall (Margaret Latham) and I hope that the new born son is doing well. Also please remember me to Mr. and Mrs. Baybutt at the shop, Liverpool Road."
Dvr. Dick Sephton writes from the M.E.F. saying "I had the good luck to see George Formby and his Concert Party on his recent visit here. He gave a very good turn and the crowd absolutely roared with laughter. I like him immensely, and I certainly did enjoy his turn, and I am sure that I speak for all the crowd there. Thanks for the N.Ls which I am receiving very regularly now that I have once more settled down."
The Rev. E.J.Forse, C.F., (the rector's nephew) writes from the M.E.F. saying "It is a great treat to be away from Iraq. I can't say that I am greatly impressed with this part of the world, but it is a great improvement over anywhere I have been since leaving England. I have been receiving quite a lot of N.Ls recently. Once again l have a Iarge and scattered parish, and have a very busy time, especially on Sunday. We have a L/Cpl Clarke in this camp who knew you well at St. Anne's, and whose father served with you in the last war."
Pte. Peter Guy writes from India to say "I went to Church last Sunday. There was a large Confirmation on, and there were men being confirmed from about five countries. It was a lovely sight I can assure you. I hope to be confirmed myself in the near future. I heard from Harry Devitt the other day and he mentioned the N.Ls and said how nice it was to get them. Remember me to Will Ball (Scoot) and Len Ball, Moss Lane, who is my cousin, and all in H.M. Forces.
L/ Cpl. Harley McKean sends from M.E.F. saying "In the last N.L. received I noticed that all we three brothers are mentioned. Frank (R.N.) Dick (R.A.F.) and yours truly . Remember me to them and tell Frank through the N.L. that I have a very special medal for him when next I see him. To-night I heard my name come over the air. I and one of my pals here had sent a request to the B.B.C., and we were both listening in when our names were mentioned. Remember me to Les Clarkson, Alf Rowland and the Carr Brothers."
LAC Freddy Pollard writes from the Hebrides to say "There was quite a stir up here when one of the farmers got his corn in on Sunday. A minister of one section of the Church, namely the Free Presbyterians, called a public meeting against the farmer, but it all ended up no nearer than when it started. The time just flies up here. This morning I played the organ at the Service and all enjoyed it. When I came back from hospital there were ten N.Ls waiting for me, so you can tell that I had a couple of very pleasant hours reading."
A/C2 Freddy Coupe writes from the West Indies saying "I went to the great town and Capital of this island this week. In the afternoon we saw the Duke of Windsor open a recreation field. He was about 7yards from me when he got out of his car and I got a good view of him. I was just wishing that I had a camera with me. I was a bit disappointed that the Duchess was not with him. After a very good tea in the Bahama Club we went to the Pictures, but I am afraid that I slept throughout the show. That's what happens when one's day off always comes after a night on duty. Remenber me to Malcolm Parkinson, Robert Iddon of H.B. and especially to Roger Watson, and tell him I shall be dropping him another line in the near future."
Dvr. Robert Parkinson writes "I am glad to say that I am still doing the same job here, which, as you know is driving. But I would like it still more if I were driving at home, and I am sure that my brother, Billy, who is in Italy, thinks the same. Will you give him my best regards and wish him the best of luck, and here's hoping to see him soon. I am afraid that I shall have to cut this letter short as I am on guard.
Gunner Fred Bentham sends a letter saying "I have now finished my course in Driver operating. Its been very stiff, but I got through O.K. I am now waiting for posting, and that will mean another change of address. I have not had my photo taken yet, but I'll let you have one as soon as I do. Its not such a bad place here, but very little to do. Will you please remember me to D. Hanson, Bill and Jimmy Harrison, and all my pals in the Forces. I find the N.Ls very interesting and so do lots of the boys here."
Pte. Harry Woosey writes "Jerry is visiting quite regularly here, and there is a din when Moaning Minnie goes. It is very quiet here, the Church attendance is only 8 to 10 every week. It is a very old fashioned Church, the organ is played by a girl of eighteen and a boy of fifteen rings the Church bell. I hope that you are just as nippy as ever. I only receive three letters each week, one from Hilda, one from my sister at Bretherton and the N.L. from you."
LACW Vera Iddon, says in her letter " The N.L. comes as a ray of sunshine from home. You will see from my address that I have moved. This is a very nice place and I like being here. This will be the third Christmas that I have been away from home, and it does not seem five minutes. I am sending you this photo I had taken and I hope that you will put it among the others in the Lady Chapel. I hope that you can find a little space in the N.L. to remember me to all the boys and girls in the Forces."
Gunner Tom Fazackerley writes "I am still keeping my hand in at farming. Last Saturday we were driving cattle. We drove them six miles and I quite forgot that I was in the Army. Yesterday we went rabbiting. We have got a lovely white ferret as a pet. We call her Blondie. She has never bitten anybody yet, but we can't convince our Troop Officer he won't have anything to do with her. Our fighter bombers are going out on a raid, so I cannot hear the Church bells. I am thankful that I am English and not German."
AC1 Leslie Clarkson (Bretherton) says "I am writing this letter in an R.A.F. hospital, for I have been in dock for the last few days. But it is not too bad and the food is very good. But I am in bed all the time, and I don't enjoy that very much. Please remember me to all my friends in the Forces, home and overseas, especially John Ball, Hugh Sutton, my pal Jimmy Jackson (Tich) and all my pals from Bretherton."

Questions and Answers.
Why did the owl owl?
Because the woodpecker behind, wouldpecker behind.

Why did the lobster blush?
Because it saw the salad dressing.

Why did the fly fly.
Because the spider spider.

Why did the coal scuttle?
Because it saw the kitchen sink.

Why did the spade refuse to leave the tool shed.
Because it thought it was infra dig.

Books to read
The Perfect Wife by Herman dear.
A Stinging Retort by Amos Quito.
The Old Hat by Ava Newan.
Plain Speaking by Andy Noids.
The Broken Window by Eva Brick.

Lads can pass many a pleasant hour in the billet seeing how many similar things they can think up.

The Joker.
Customer; That pot of greengage Jam I bought here last week was full of stalks.
Assistant; Certainly, madam, surely you noticed that the label on the bottle said 'Branches everywhere.'

"Have you an opening for a smart young lad?"
"Yes, but don't slam it as you go out."

"Do you think you know enough to be useful in this office?"
"Know enough? why I left my last place because my boss said I knew too much!"

Inquisitive Mary: "What made the Tower of Piza lean?"
Corpulent Lizzie: Don't know, if I did I'd take some myself."

The following verses come from Corporal Bert Price who is serving with the rector's old Division.

Somebody Cares.
Somebody cares a lot for you,
Wherever you are, whatever you do,
Cares if you're troubled, ill or sad,
Cares when you're happy, well and glad.
Somebody loves your voice, your smile,
The touch of your hand that makes life worth while.
And some day, perhaps, as the years roll on,
You'll look behind o'er the road, you've gone;
Then you'll discover, by and by
That Somebody caring so much was I.

To Absent Friends.
Will someone, please, claim the authorship of these verses? They were sent some time ago and we have quite forgotten who sent them.

Friends of my heart,
We walk no more the roads we loved so well;
And when we pass that way again
Alas! I cannot tell.

Perhaps we never shall
Retrace that old familiar path
Or share our hopes and thoughts and dreams,
Beside a cosy hearth.

But somewhere
We shall fall in step and swing into our stride;
And find another road to travel,
For the world is wide.

Just wait!
Though fate now guides our steps
down strangely winding ways,
I know that we are being led
To bright and happier days.

The following lines have been sent to us. We hope that the last two lines will not be true of the aftermath of this war.

War and Peace
When war is declared and danger is nigh,
God and the soldier is the country's cry,
When peace is declared and all things righted,.
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted.

Christmas Questionings.
"Where will you make His little bed,
And where shall he lie His baby head,
And how shall he be comforted?"
Quoth Joseph to Saint Mary.
God's Lamb I'll in a manger lay,
And pillow shall he have of hay,
I'll comfort Him as mothers may,"
Quoth Mary, Mother Mary.

"And wherefore hath He come to earth,
And why should God have human birth,
Or poverty make Angels' mirth?
O tell me. Mother Mary."
"Love ever goeth on Love's quest,
Love ever seeketh Love for rest,
And He would be thy soul's sweet Guest"
So taught me Blessed Mary.

A Christmas Memory.
Who would have thought that one would ever see, with one's own mortal eyes, a few wise men wending their way to a barn on Christmas morning to worship their Saviour Christ lying in a manger? Yet this was the rector's experience at Christmas 1915. It happened thus:-
I had several Units to serve on this Christmas morning, lying far apart, so I left the finding of suitable accommodation to my congregations. When I rode up to the 7th. Battn. King's Own Royal Lancaster Regt. I found that the only habitable building was a large stable, plentifully supplied with cows and other adjuncts of the farmyard. This rather broken-down barn willing hands had garnished and decorated. Fresh smelling straw had been strewn on the floor, and a few planks had been placed across one of the mangers to form an Altar. This latter had been draped with a gorgeous tablecloth borrowed from the French folk, as an Altar frontal, a large crucifix flanked by six huge brass candlesticks had been placed upon it, and three spotless linen cloths had been spread across the planks, Thus I had the privilege of administering the Holy Sacrament to about 300 lads, reverently kneeling in sweet smelling straw and adoring their Saviour once more present in a Manger, It was about 8o'c in the morning and day was just breaking, The only light we had was from 6 Altar candles the lads themselves had supplied, having borrowed them from the kindly French peasants. Still in the barn were many cows and two young colts and many fowls rustling in the straw. This was at Les Lobes, near Merville, and I am told that the barn still stands at the corner of the four cross roads, and is, I think, the only pre-war building still existing in this neighbourhood. What a place for a shrine! And still more, what a sight to see so many men reverently kneeling in a stable with heads bowed low, worshipping their hidden Saviour cradled in a manger.

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