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Web Transcript © 2003 Hubmaker. All rights reserved.
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December 24th 1943

My dear boys and girls,
First of all let me wish you, one and all, a very Happy New Year, and may 1944 contain within it the victorious Peace for which we so earnestly pray. You know that my thoughts and my prayers are with you all day and every day, and I long to see you all back in the old village going quietly about your daily work. That day, we pray, may soon be at hand. In the meantime let us put our whole trust in God Who alone can give us our heart's desire. Tarleton is proud of her children away from their homes so nobly upholding the honour of old England. Carry on the good work, and above all do not forget to pray for Victory and for Peace.
With my love and my Blessing, ever your affectionate friend,

Stan Barron and Tom Mayor went ferreting last Saturday afternoon under Robert Bonney's chicken cabin. They bagged 4 rabbits and 3 rats, and then lost their ferret. After a long search they thought of looking in the cabin. There they found it, and also 71 little chickens that it had worried.
Gunner Sydney Webster, R.A., Moor Road, Croston, aged 35, was riding on top of a loaded lorry and was killed by being caught while passing under a low bridge.
In January Tom Forshaw, who is a student at the School of Technology at Manchester University, goes into residence at St. Anselm Hall, in Victoria Park.
Mrs.Ted Harrison, Tarleton Moss, is in Preston Infirmary and has to undergo an operation.

On Leave: Tom Dickinson; Billy Benjamin; Harry Cookson, Ronnie Cooke, Robert Bond (Mere Brow); Edwin Hodson, Ken Dandy; Arthur Proctor; John Webster.
The Mere Brow School children got up a concert all by themselves last week on behalf of the N.L. Fund, and raised over £6. For all this we thank them.
When the D.A.C.G. was leaving the Western Command to go into Warwickshire, the rector crated two of his Muscovy ducks and he took them with him. Alas! although they got safely to their destination, next morning they had both flown away. One has since returned, but the other is still at large somewhere, unless they have some Sam Marshes down Warwickshire way, who pots Muscovies for his pies.
Frank Iddon (Hesketh Lane) and Lester Stazicker have both volunteered for the coal mines and have been accepted.
Jimmy West (Kearsley Avenue) goes for medical on Tuesday. They are putting him into the Merchant Navy.
Mrs. Richard Tinsley, Hesketh Lane, is home from hospital, but she is still far from well.
Mrs Ted Harrison, Tarleton Moss, is in Preston Infirmary.
At Tommy Eatough's sale on the Moss, a second hand wheel barrow went for £10. His farm was sold for £2,400.
The rector has received a very large number of Christmas cards from the lads and girls away. He will probably receive some more during the coming week, so he will acknowleage them all in the next N. L. Knowing that the Christmas Cards are for the whole parish he has placed them all in the Lady Chapel so that all can see them.

Gdsn. Jack Moss sends an air mail from C.M.F. saying "I was told by a chap who happened to read a 'Union Jack', the newspaper published for us out here, that it contained a full item of yours, and stated at the bottom that the reporter has found the N.L. in a Naples' cafe and he went on to say that it showed what good organisations there were at home. If you could squeeze a few words in the N.L. I wish you would pass on my greeting for Christmas to my brother Walter, my girl in the W.L.A., Kenneth Nicholson, Dick Gabbot, John Iddon, Norman Barron and Harry Crook, also all in the Forces and the people of the land of our dreams."
Trooper Tom Rigby (Toll Bar) sends an airgraph from India saying, "The weather out here is getting quite hot although it is winter. We only wear a pair of shorts. I have only met one lad from Tarleton out here, and that is Harry Latham, although I have heard that there are some more."
L/cpl Harley McKean sends from M.E.F. a Christmas Greeting airgraph, with a view on it of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge, and St. Paul's Cathedral, all, apparently close together. In another corner there is a picture of what looks like the Monument and Southwark Bridge, but it probably is not so.
His brother AC Dick McKean R.A.F., sends a Royal Air Force specially printed Christmas card from the Middle East, depicting some tall palm trees shading some typically Tripolitanian buildings, with some bombers flying miles overhead.
Dvr. Dick Gabbott sends an interesting letter from M.E.F. saying "I have been in the desert for the past few months, but am now back at the place where I met Ronnie Pilkington, and as his company is still here I am taking the first opportunity to find out whether Ronnie is still with them. I met three chaps from Preston the other night who knew Tarleton and wanted to be remembered to Jack Moss. The Padre asked us all to supper the other night. He lives in Preston and knows Tarleton. This will be my third Christmas out here, and I am still travelling about the same places as I was in 1941. Remember me to all the lads and lasses in the Forces, especially John Iddon, Jack Moss, Ken Nicholson and Ronnie Pilkington."
Billie Winward writes from Paiforce, where he is doing constructional work to say "Thank you very much for remembering an "old H.L. Mission Room boy". As you have been with the Services yourself you know what news from home means to those who are away."
Sapper Dick Johnson sends a letter from C.M.F. saying "Bill Parkinson is also here. The country is very pleasant and it's something to have enough water. I have seen sights that I should never have seen if the war had not been. Still, with all the Army's free sight seeing tours I don't think that it makes up for the last three years away from home. We had the padre down here a few nights ago and after the service we fixed a new piece of wire in the lock of his small organ that he carries around with him."
Sgt. Hubert Tindsley sends a long typewritten air mail from B.N.A.F. saying "Thanks for the N.Ls which have been coming regularly. I have just received a Christmas number and it is a grand effort. When I was reading it I suddenly remembered that when I was ever so small at Tarleton School a certain Father Christmas used to visit us and I used to be quite worried because his voice was so much like the Rector's. On Christmas Morning all we boys abroad will be pilgriming in spirit to Tarleton, and we shall be with all you good folk as we celebrate this joyful festival. My kind regards to Tom Tinsdley, Harry Crook, the Price Brothers and John Sutton."
Stoker Bill Hudson writes from India saying "The N.Ls follow me all over the world. Tell Charlie Wright (Tabby Nook) . R.A.F. that I am also in India and am keeping my eyes open for him. Remember me to my other pals Robert Bond (M.E.F.) and Chuck Wright, and tell Bob I have written to his mother. I am getting plenty of fruit, bananas, oranges, nuts etc., but it is surprising how soon you get tired of them."
L/cpl Harry Price writes from Paiforce to say "I have just returned from a long, long journey, and yet again I am blessed with four grand N.Ls on my arrival back at camp. As I am writing this the mail has just come in and in it I see two N.Ls so please excuse me while I get my nose into them. Well! that's good for you again', sir. I see Edwin Crabtree wishes to be remembered to me. Please return his wishes and also to brother Bert, Tom and Hubert Tindsley and George Almond whom I may be seeing soon."
Marine Harry Iddon, writes from Colombo saying "I am in a pretty nice spot at present, plenty of nuts and fruit. Excuse the writing, but my gas mask is not too good a substitute for a table." Inside the air mail is a highly coloured picture of a cingalese driving a wagon laden high with boxes labelled 'Ceylon Tea', and drawn by two oxen. It also says 'Christmas Greetings 1943'.
Sapper Ronnie Melling sends a splendid, illustrated airgraph depicting a cheerful English Tommy greeting an equally jovial Yank soldier with a French poilu in the background, in appropriate N. African setting, and containing the words "Christmas Greetings from the Mediterranean."
LAC Harry Rigby sends from C.M.F. a pictorial airgraph of paIms and blue Mediterranean and pinacles in the distance, with the wording "Christmas Greetings from the Royal Air Force, Italy."
Sgt. Ernie Ball writes "As you will see from the date I started this letter yesterday, but I had just got to the third line when I received a telegram from Mother saying that my Grandfather passed away on Saturday night. I would have liked to have come to the funeral, but I am afraid that it is impossible. I only returned a week ago from my third course since my last leave."
Dvr. Dick Taylor (Mere Brow) writes, "There is an abundance of rats round here; some as big as the proverbial cat. Although the billet is a modern house I could hear some the other night must have thought that the ceiling was a dirt track."
Sapper Jimmy Harrison says in his letter "This place is not too bad, and according to chaps who were here last year we should be having a good time this Christmas. Not much chance of nipping home from here."

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