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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
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November 18th 1943

My dear boys and girls,
Thank you very much for the many letters I have received from you all this week There are far too many to give extracts from them all, but I will work them all in, in time.
It is about time that I asked someone else to write an occasional letter to you on the front page, so I am asking you now to let me know who you would like to hear from. I will then ask the persons suggested to write a few lines. I am kept very busy just at present with a hundred and one things to do, but you may rely upon me always finding time for the N.L.
Things really are looking more cheerful now and it is only a matter of a reasonable time before we shall see you home.
With my love and my blessing,
Ever your affectionate friend,

Nice Service round Memorial last Thursday when the school children sang a Hymn. Very big Service of Remembrance on Sunday afternoon when there were 360 National Service personnel on parade. Fine procession round parish with Rufford Band. Church absolutely packed for Service. Most compelling and inspiring address given by the Provost of Blackburn Cathedral. He spoke of the general and great loss to the social and spiritual wealth of the world suffered through modern day tendencies to pooh pooh rather despise all that is "old fashioned".
Able bodied Seaman Frank McKean was present at the christening of his only son and heir at Tarleton Parish Church on Saturday. The baby was named Frederick Keith.
Young Hubert Thompson who used to live in Tarleton (Kearsley avenue) is now in the Royal Nary. He was at Church on Sunday.
Dvr. Jack Robinson is home on leave.
Mrs. Howard, of Bretherton, who lived just behind the Toll Bar was found dead in a ditch last Sunday night. She had been very unwell for some time and must have wandered out of doors while her daughter was attending Hoole Church. The verdict at the inquest was "death through misadventure". Mrs. Howard was a sister of Tom, Dick and Henry Melling.
On Monday, the adopted son of Commander and Mrs. John Caunce, Hesketh Lane, was christened in Tarleton Parish Church with the names William James.
The A.T.C. held their annual dance on Friday evening in Schools. Very crowded but very enjoyable.
The Home Guard had a Hot pot supper in Schools on Tuesday evening, with a real ENSA entertainment afterwards. Arthur Askey's sister was at piano. Colonel Wright attended, and so did Major Chadwick, Captain Dean and the Rector.
The Home Guard played Bank Hall on Saturday on Recreation Field and beat them 5 2.
The Tarleton Corinthians played St. Thomas Moore Approved School at Birkdale on Saturday and lost 11 1.
John Ashcroft joined the NAAFI on Thursday.
The best bit of news is always reserved till the last, so here it is. One day last week Corpl. Jimmy Burns calmly opens his mother's door and walks in. His mother thought he was still in the East so one can imagine what a very pleasant surprise it was for her. He was not allowed to send either a letter or a telegram, or to telephone he was coming. He hitch hiked it from the port at which he landed, and at a certain place about 20 miles from Tarleton his wagon turned off the main road, so Jimmy was dropped. He put his thumb up to the next wagon passing and found it was the very one of Melling's wagons that he used to drive in peace time, and his own nephew was driving it. Jimmy did not recognise his uncle as he is so brown. Corpl. Jimmy has been in the far east for nearly three years, was at Alamein, chased Rommel through Tunis, followed him through Sicily to Italy, and came on 21 days' leave from Icecreamland. One of his first calls was on the Rector.

Pte. Peter Guy sends a Christmas Greeting airgraph from India with soldier in topee and shorts looking out between two tall palm trees towards England, home and beauty. With one hand he holds his rifle, with the other he waves Christmas greetings to his many friends - in Tarleton and Hesketh Bank.
Lt. Stanley Baldwin airgraphs from M.E.F. to say "Have just returned from a spot of leave and have seen quite a number of historical sights in Palestine, including Nazareth and Damascus went up Mt. Tabor and saw the lovely Church of the Transfiguration. Your very welcome N.L. always arrives and I must say that some of news of weddings etc. make me realise how long I have been away from the parish. I have had good news of my wife and son".
Gdsn. John G. Moss sends an air mail from C.M.F . saying "just to let you know that I am alright. I often see Jimmy Sutton now since I got to know he was here through the N.L. I am sending you his kind regards. We are doing O.K. out here. Our Brigade is well known for the work it has done and the Divisional Units are attached to us, they say, instead of it being the other way round. Please give my kind regards to my girl in the Land Army, my brother Walter, Ken Nicholson, Norman Barron and John Iddon, and all the boys and girls overseas and at home."
Dvr. John Caunce airmails from a military hospital in the Middle East saying "I had a small operation yesterday, but I still have another one to look forward to. Please remember me to John Spencer and Frank Foulds and hope they are keeping well. We are having very nice weather out here, but I suppose it will be a lot different at your end of the world. I wrote to Billy Harrison about four weeks ago but so far he has not replied."
Dvr. Fred Taylor, Hesketh Lane, writes from B.N.A.F. to say "The other day a little Arab lad drove a lot of sheep across the road just as I was driving by, a trick they always seem to be doing. I ran over the old ram that was with the sheep and both front and back wheels went over its neck, but it still lives and is as well as ever. Then on Monday I ran over a snake but I never stopped for that. I have seen quite a few snakes since I came over here."
AC/2 Freddy Coupe sends his regular letter from the West Indies saying "I have been doing a lot of reading lately. One good thing about this place is that there are plenty of books and magazines here. I hope to go to the Supreme Court sometime and hear a session of the Harry Oakes murder. It is on just now and is one of the main topics here, although I expect that it occupies a little corner only in the newspaper at home. I have not been swimming for the past week, but I expect to go tomorrow".
Corpl. Bert Price writes cheerfully as usual, saying "This place suits me fine as there are 3 canteens, 3 cinemas, 2 dance halls, and scores of chip shops, which were lacking down south, so once more I say that I'm a lucky bloke; and within 100 yds. of my billet is a closed in swimming bath, Woolworth's and the main shopping centre with the market thrown in, and I am right in the middle of the coal mines. I wonder how many of my old pals abroad would be willing to change places with me? I guess they all would, don't you".
AC Walter Rawsthorne writes "About three Weeks ago I went up to ---- for a new vehicle, and on the way back I called in to see my old pal Bob Barron who is stationed near ----. It was rather late when I arrived there, so I decided to stay the night on his camp. I asked if I could be put in his particular hut, so they made a real job of it and put me in his bed. You can imagine Bob's surprise when he came in and found his bed occupied. However, we improvised a bed of spare blankets and overcoats, and, after telling each other our recent adventures, we got a few hours sleep".
O/S Ken Dandy, R.N. says "I've had quite an exciting time, but it would take me all day to tell you everything, so I will keep it until I get my leave. I have been in hospital and a convalescent home for the past 10 days, although there was not a thing wrong with me. That was after this "adventure" but, as I said, I will tell you everything when I get my leave. I see Tom Dickinson has been in sick quarters. Will you please mention in the N.L. that I wish him a speedy recovery. At the moment I am in Barracks, and it is not going down too well after being at sea for so long."
Nurse Ann Barron writes from an E.M.S. Hospital to say "I had my first letter from my brother Bert this week since I have been here. I find that he is now in the C.M.F. By the way, an amusing thing happened the other week. One of the soldiers from the R.A.M.C. office came down to our ward plus my N.L., bearing my name and C.M.P. unstead of C.N.R. These poor men had been racking their brains from early morning wondering who the C.M.P. was!! My best wishes to all the girls and boys away from home".
Fusilier William Lowe writes "Since I came back off leave I have been moved about quite a lot. I am not in the Loyals now, but have been transferred to the Lancashire Fusiliers. I went to Church this morning, and just as the Service had started the sirens went, but it did not make any difference to us. It is a grand Church and I really enjoyed it. Please remember me to A.T.S. Barbara Coupe, Sandy Laing, and all the boys and girls in the Forces."
Pte. Harry Woosey in his letter says "I have heard people say 'Why don't we go as fast as the Russians.' It just goes to show that they have no idea of the conditions our boys have to face. These lads need our prayers now, as well as the other lads wherever they may be. Please give my kind regards to all the lads and lassies and remember me to my brother in law Eric Booth, Jimmy Latham, and Jack Robinson".
Pte. George Wait writes "We are "under" the Black Watch, and they are the smartest lot of soldiers I have ever seen. The food here is very good and we get plenty of it. I met three lads on my way up here and they are in the next beds to me. We get along fine together, and have a good bit of fun amongst ourselves."

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