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

November 25th 1943

My dear Boys and Girls,
This week one of the lads said to me "I have not written lately because I notice that my last two letters received no extracts in the N.L., and I thought, perhaps, you were having too many letters to notice in this way" I do, very often, get more letters than I can find room for extracts, but if you once cease writing on that account the N.L. will soon become very uninteresting. For if everyone thinks the same, where shall I be? This week I have had to leave a few extracts unrecorded, but they will probably be found in next week's issue. So do, please, write, and thus make my work in getting out the N.L. much more easy.
Don't forget, next Sunday is the first in Advent, when we start the new Church year a very important event.
With all my love and my Blessing; and all my prayers,
Ever your affectionate friend,

Two wedding's of real local interest this week, both at Tarleton Parish Church, and both taken by the rector:
1. Jimmy Ashcroft of Sollom was married on Saturday to Elizabeth Alice Abram, of Blackgate Lane. Bride in white figured silk with orange blossom wreath. Jimmy Coulton (H.B,) who married Mary Abram, was best man. He got leave for the occasion. Wedding breakfast at Garlicks, social evening in schools.
2. William West, Kearsley Avenue, married to Gladys Starkie of Darwen, bride who is in the A.T.S. was dressed in white satin. Some comrades of Bride in A.T.S. uniform present. Wedding breakfast in schools.
Mrs. Tom Melling, Gorse Lane, has presented her husband with a son.
A.R.P. Personnel held a very successful social evening in the Methodist schools on Thursday. The rector was one of the guests. E.N.S.A. and local talent supplied the entertainment.
On leave this week: Jack Robinson, Dick Blundell, Ronnie Sergeant, Kenneth Ogden, Jimmy Coulton, Robert Howard, Frank Timperley.
A few Mere Brow men have guaranteed the money necessary and have bought the land round the Institute belonging to William Sutton, Cinder Farm and have amalgamated with the Committee of the Institute to form a bowling green club on the land acquired. Mr. James Taylor is chairman, and Mr. Billington is secretary of this joint Institute and Bowling Green Club. Subscriptions are being sought to meet the bill. The money should soon be raised.
Tarleton Corinthians drew with Southport Holy Family 2 2 on Saturday in an away match.
The infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Riley, Southport New Road, was christened in Tarleton Church on Sunday with the name of Hilda.
The Rector preached at a special children's Service at Banks Church on Sunday afternoon to raise money for a Sunday School Banner. Collection £16.
Eric Bell, Hesketh Lane (the family have come from Liverpool) got his calling up papers for R.A.F. last week.
Stanley Holden, joins the R.A.F. on Friday.
Alan Jay has been to ---- and has two months deferment before finally joining the R.A.F. All three of these lads are in the local A.T.C.

So many welcome letters this week that extracts must necessarily be short.
Sapper Dick Johnson, who must surely be on top of list for home leave, writes from C.M.F. to say "The people here though rather shy at first are talking to us and becoming quite friendly, offering us fruit of all kinds. These last few weeks we have been in a rush, travelling any hour of the day and night and getting forty winks of sleep here and there. Still the air here is fresh, which is everything, especially after the dust of Egypt and Lybia. Billy Parkinson is here somewhere. I was quite near him in the first few days of getting here. It has been good to see the rain again, the first I have seen in over a year, but I expect I shall soon see it too often. The N.L. arrived today.
Corpl. Edwin Crabtree writes "You will notice that I have joined, along with more local lads, in the victorious, yet slow drive through another country. In the latest N.L. I received I read that a few were in the same Army as myself. Everything out here is a sight for sore eyes, orange and peach groves stretch for miles, and there has always been an abundance of grapes. Owing to censorship reasons experiences are not allowed to be disclosed."
Gunner Ronnie Whiteside begins his letter from the M.E.F. "Hello, friends of Tarleton" and goes on "Thanks very much for N.Ls received. I am studying for a driver's H.C. course, and hope and trust that I come out with colours flying high. The other night I went to see that old friend of Tarleton, George Formby. England is not the only place for musicians. Last week I heard a military band consisting entirely of Egyptians, and they gave a jolly fine performance. The conductor certainly knew his job and he, also was of this country."
Gunner John Hornby is well ahead of time for he sends a very brightly coloured, and very Italian, Christmas Card depicting the Holy Family, an ox and an ass, and a very Anglo Saxon looking angel, with the inscription "Buon Natale". John himself says, on other side "Wishing you a merry Christmas and New Year". We return the compliments in full, weighed down and running over.
L/Cpl. Harley McKean airgraphs from M.E.F. saying "I noticed in the N.L. that you ask for photographs. I believe you have one of me, but I have had some more taken so I am sending you a new edition. I have received news today that an army pal of mine has been killed in action. We were together a long time and I had visited his parents when I was stationed back home. I feel very strongly about it."
O/Tel. John Webster, R.N. writes from his ship saying "It seems strange to be back on board again, and it makes one feel all the more the comforts of home life toward the rattling and pitching of a destroyer as we had yesterday and last night. I believe I just missed Bert Fawke again.. This may be my last opportunity of writing for a while so I will take this opportunity of wishing you a very Happy Christmas. Remember me to Bert Fawke, Jack Hague, John Sutton, Lawrence Hunter and all the lads and lassies in the Forces."
Stoker John Twist writes from his ship to say "Please note my new address as I want to make sure that the N.L. gets to me every week. I received your lovely Christmas number just before I left port. Will you wish Teddy Farrel the best of luck in your next N.L. We were both in the same N.F.S. crew. I was surprised to hear that he had gone into the Navy. That's one thing your N.L. does for us. It lets us know where the village lads are."
O/S Tom Dickinson, R.N. writes "Yesterday the crew had the day off so we went to ---- and went to Holy Trinity Church in the morning. Of all the Servicemen in ---- we were the only one's there. The congregation was not large either for the size of the Church. We were at sea this afternoon and didn't we toss and roll!! Remember me to Bob Howard, Bert Fawke, and all my friends in the Services."
Trooper Alec Barnish writes from C.M.F. to say "I am now able to tell you that I am in Italy. It is a very nice country and a difference to the desert we have been used to. It's grand to see green fields and trees again. It's nice to be able to tell you how regularly your N.Ls have arrived. I see that you manage to put most of the local tit bits in your N.L. each week, even the "show" at Hoole. Give my best wishes to all the local people now serving in H.M. Forces."
Gunner Harold Aspey, says "Life on a gun site can get awfully boring, as no doubt you know. We are always on the alert, for one never knows when Jerry might decide to have a go at us; and if he does we shall be waiting. Remember me to all the boys where ever they may be, especially John Rowland, Bert Barron, Ronnie Iddon, Nick Forshaw, and Alice Bentham who wished to be remembered to me through the N.L."
Pte. Joe Power, Hesketh Bank writes "We are billeted in a large empty house, of Tudor type, and we hope to make it next to home with a bit of rummaging. Convey my best wishes to all in H.M. Forces, particularly remembering me to W. Melling, in the Navy and say I hope he is well on the way to recovery by now, and also to Fred Carr, who, I believe, is in N. Africa."
W.R.E.N. Rose Twist sends a cheerful letter, saying "I am really enjoying life in the Wrens, although it will be really great when this war is over and we can all get back home. Please remember me to my cousin Jack Twist, also in the Navy and tell him to hurry up and write to me; also to all the boys I used to go to school with, who, as I learn from the N.L. are now in the Forces."
Pte. Nellie Pendlebury, A.T.S. begins "The Christmas number of the N.L. was smashing: We all enjoyed it very much. Evelyn Taylor seems to have been unlucky. Mother wrote and told me she had been in hospital. Please remember me to all my old friends in the Forces through the N.L. not forgetting my brother Gerrald, in India."
Leading Seaman Jimmy Latham writes "I am very well, but like many other young men and women, am ready for the war to be over and won; and then, rector, the Tarleton Church and Chapel will be occupied by the cream of the village. Remember me to Fred Taylor and John Hornby both abroad with H.M. Forcss. "
Sapper Howard Gabbott says "Remember me to my brother Dick, R.A.S.C., M.E.F. hoping that we shall soon meet again in England, and also my old pal James Parkinson, R.A.F., and please wish all the Tarleton boys and girls a Merry Christmas from me, and a safe return home''.
Dvr. Tom Sutton, Mere Brow, writes "Your N.L. has cheered many a lonely soldier for there is nothing like news from home. I have heard so much about it from the boys and girls in H.M. Forces."

Prepared for web viewing by Mere Brow Local History Society