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December 31st 1943
No. 195 - Published weekly since May 1940

My dear Boys and Girls,
On the last day of the old year I write to wish you one and all, the very best wishes for the New Year, and to express the hope which is in all our hearts that 1944 may contain within it the Victory and the world wide Peace for which we are fighting.
The stage is now being set for this final Act, and one last long pull, and strong pull, and pull altogether, should make that Victory certain and complete.
These last four years have been trying ones for me, for I have been itching and fretting to take my place by your side, as I indeed did by the side of your fathers, in the front line of battle. Old age has compelled me to do my best fighting a rear guard action on the home front against any force that I thought might dishearten you or make you feel too much cut off from the daily life of your village.
My constant prayer is that God, of His goodness and mercy, may keep you safe and well during the hard days that lie ahead, and preserve you to return to your village to take your place and your share in the re building of His Holy City in this grand old fortress of England.
I look and long for your help in the days to come in making full use of the opportunity that will present itself the very moment that Peace is declared. Again with every good wish for the New Year,
And with all my prayers and love,
Ever your affectionate fellow-soldier,

On Christmas Day the rector received a telegram from a friend of Aubrey Smith at Windsor saying "Glad to tell you Aubrey a prisoner and well". We are all relieved and wish him a speedy and safe return to his many friends.
Mr. David Lund, Briery Villas, Blackgate Lane, died early on Christmas morning and was buried at Tarleton Churchyard on Tuesday. He was 70 years of age.
Arthur Proctor, R.N. is on Draft leave. Ronnie Cooke, Lt. R.A., is also home on embarkation leave.
The infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Wilson (nee Betty Monaghan) was christened on Sunday last in Tarleton Parish Church with the names Peter Thomas.
The infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dick Parkinson (nee Doris Wignall) was christened on Sunday in Tarleton P.C. with the name of Della.
Mr. Moss, father of the late Robert Moss, R.A.F., is lying seriously ill in a Liverpool hospital.
Navy, Army and Air Force personnel all served at the Christmas Communions, viz. Tom Dickinson, RN. Raymond Coupe, Billy Benjamin, R.A.F, Jimmy Parkinson, R.A.F., Ernie Ball R.A.S.C..All were home on Christmas leave.
The rector's lads' Bible Class had a Social Evening in the schools on Monday. Each lad invited a girl. They had a good evening.
The Guild of Players, under the guidance of Mr. and Mrs. Peters, produced a very effective Nativity Play in the Parish Church on Sunday afternoon.
The Mere Brow folk gave a tea, followed by a very pleasant dance, to a military Unit billeted in the vicinity, on Wednesday last. The rector, on behalf of the good folk of the hamlet, welcomed the guests.
On Christmas Day the same Unit returned the compliment by entertaining their former hosts to a Dance at St. Stephen's Hall, Banks. The rector was present again at this very pleasant function.
Mrs. Arthur Forshaw, Johnson's Lane, has presented her husband with a baby boy.
The folk at Bank Hall gave their annual Christmas Dance on Tuesday. Quite a number of Tarleton friends were invited.
The rector thanks the following for sending him Christmas cards: Harry Iddon: Fred Coupe: Harley McKean: John Caunce: Billy Harrison: Tom Rigby (Toll Bar): Ronnie Melling: Tom Spencer: Eric Todd: Elsie Winstanley: Sidney Smith: Harry Rigby: Edgar Wait: George Almond: Roger Watson: Will Ellison: Joe Wait: Bob Johnson: Agnes Swift (nee Rigby): John Hornby: Bert Fawke: Mick Melling: David Hanson: Tom Dickinson: Arthur Worth: Dick McKean: Harry Forrest: Fred Taylor: Noel Clarke: Albert Becconsall: Hubert Tindsley: George Barker: Vera Iddon: Frank Birtwhistle: Dick Rymer: Barbara Coupe: Arthur Barron: Hugh Melling: Ralph Whitehead. Ken Ogden: Joe Martland: Andy Byatt: Bert Barron: Arthur Harrison: Ken Nicholson: Raymond Coupe: Eva Foulds: Jack Marsden: Jack Hodge: Joe Power: Bert Price: Tom Tindsley: John Ball: J. Ball (Bretherton): John Sutton: Tom Southworth.
All these boys and girls are in one or other of H.M. Forces, most of them abroad. No room for any more names this week, but we will complete the list in next week's issue.
The rector has received from Sister Heron, of Preston Royal Infirmary, a copy of the "Union Jack", the paper published for the 8th and 5th Armies in B.N.A.F. and C.M.F., containing a thrilling review of the Tarleton Weekly News Letter.
Congratulations to Sgt. Jim. Leacy on being Officially Commended in Army Orders as "Commended for Gallant Conduct and Devotion to Duty". This is, indeed, a great distinction.
Mrs. Forshaw, of Higher Lane, Holmes, mother of Mrs. Amos Townsley died on Boxing Day, and was buried in Tarleton Churchyard on Thursday.
Hutchinson's "Pictorial History of the War" for October contains an excellent picture of H.M.S. Inconstant sinking a U-Boat. John Webster was on board the Inconstant while this action was in progress. They took most of the German crew prisoners.
The Editor of the Ormskirk Advertiser has asked the rector to send the greetings of his paper to all the readers of the N.L.

E.R.M. Dick Burns, R.N., airgraphs from his ship to say ."This is the seventh letter I have written to night, as there is not much else to do except dodge the heat. Will you pass on to the other sailor boys to look out for me as I may not get to see them although they may be quite near."
AC.1. Tom Parkinson airgraphs from M.E.F. saying "I know you will be having a good time now Christmas is near and I wish I were back to help you what bit I could. If you are having a Sunday School party will you please wish the S.S. teachers and scholars a happy Christmas and prosperous New Year from me, and I hope that by the grace of God we shall see the end of this war early in the New Year."
C/R. Bob Iddon airgraphs from an African port to say "Have just had a really good time up in the Drakenberg, went up the Lani pass on horseback, saw plenty of Zulu and Basuto kraals, honey bords, snakes, baboons etc. I have commenced my course here and shall be here for some time yet."
Dvr. John Caunce writes a letter from a hospital in the M.E.F. to say "We get pictures at this hospital, so you can see we have something to pass our time on. Before we come back I suppose we shall have to learn English again after hearing all the different languages. I should like to hear how Fred Forshaw and Sid Ball are getting along. We had a kind of sports last week, and the chief event was a donkey race. We borrowed some donkeys from the Arabs, and had course marked out. I came in fifth out of eight runners. But we had our fun out of it so nothing was lost."
Jack Marsden sends an airmail from his ship saying "It is quite right what Ken Nicholson says in one of his letters to you that the Navy gets to many places that the Army and R.A.F. never see. I have certainly seen a few very strange sights. My pal and I had a run ashore last night, the first for about a month. We had our month's pay in the morning so you could imagine our stepping ashore as though we hadn't a care in the world, but we had to get used to the different money rates. I've had six different kinds of money already. Please remember me to my old pal Sid Ball and thank him for his letter. Remember me also to Eva Foulds, Bill Harrison, Bob Hull, and Bill Ball, R.N. (H.B.)"
Sapper Eric Edmondson writes from C.M.F. to say "a while ago I was injured in an explosion, but I am glad to say that at present my health is pretty good. Shan't I be glad to get back to Tarleton once again? Tomorrow is Sunday, and with having a day off I think l shall go for a walk in the country, probably going to the Service in the morning."
AC/2 Freddy Coupe sends a short letter from Nassau saying "A happy Christmas and New Year to all. The weather here is just nice, like a hot day in an English summer, and I am doing a little swimming. I don't fancy a Christmas here, but I suppose I shall have to put up with it. It is amazing how the years keep passing along. It does not seem long since the last one."
E.R.M. Jack Hodge, R.N. writes from his ship saying "A happy Christmas and a prosperous New year to you and all my old friends in Tarleton. I am sorry I could not get you a Christmas card, but they are very scarce on board. Last Sunday we had Divisions and after that the Skipper conducted a small Service, which I thought was very impressive."
Sergt. Jimmy Leacy C.M.P., sends a most interesting book entitled "The History of the Office of Provost Marshall and Corps of Military Police", which the rector has read with great pleasure. He also, with it sends a letter saying "I must begin by wishing you a Happy Christmas, and instead of keeping to the conventional phrase 'a prosperous New Year', I would like to wish you a New Year of Fulfilled Desires. Knowing your desires in part I send that hope. Yesterday I was able to drop in and see Harry Crook for a few minutes. Please express my thanks to the Bowling Club for its handsome Christmas present."
Corpl. Ken Nicholson, Royal Marines, writes "James Wright of Kearsley Avenue is in our camp this week, on a course, and I have been instructing him and his squad. Please thank the Bowling Club for the splendid gift. Remember me to Jack Moss, Dick Gabbott and the Rowland Bros. also to Dick Johnson and the rest of the gang."
Pte. Howard Gabbott says, in his letter, "Thanks for N.Ls, which are very interesting, especially when they include news of my pals a thousand miles away over the seas, but I miss those Sunday morning Services of yours which I always appreciate. Please thank the Conservative Women for their very welcome Christmas gift, and the Women's Section of the British Legion. Remember me to my brother Dick, overseas, and my brother in law Abel Bickerstaff, and send them my best wishes for the New Year."
Pte. Harry Woosey writes "Just a few lines before I go to hospital again. I have to undergo two operations, tonsils and adenoids. Will you please send all the lads and lasses my compliments of the season, and I would like to be remembered to them all".
Gunner John Ball writes to say "Please thank, through the N.L., the Women Conservatives and the B.L. (Women's Section), for the welcome gifts. I believe that Bill Barker is stationed somewhere near here, but I have not seen him yet. I am on guard at the moment, and as it is my turn to 'go on' I shall have to close, so please remember me to all the lads and lassies in the Forces."
Sergt. Jack Edmondson, R.A.F., says "It is a good thing I called on you that day, for the following day I was recalled from leave to go on a high flying test. I managed to pass. There is only a railway station here; we cannot even boast a village, so please hurry up with the N.L., and then I can get in touch again with civilisation. Yesterday I visited the Station Padre who comes from Longridge."
LAC Tom Smith sends his letter from a very 'posh' R.A.F. College, saying, "Routine becomes so monotonous that after a time one tends to work, eat, dress and undress by numbers. Each day is an exact replica of the preceding once. Please don't get the idea that I am completely miserable. Will you please thank (via the N.L.), the Bowling Club, Mothers' Union, British Legion and Conservative women for their Christmas presents? I wonder if there is any other village in England which does as much for its serving members as Tarleton."
L/cpl. Tom Tindsley says "I have written five letters to day, so I imagine that this is quite an achievement. I am once more instructing; this time trying to initiate the drivers of our Signal Section into the mysteries, or otherwise, of the Morse Code and wireless operating in general. May I send a good New Year's wish to all in the Forces, especially to my cousin Hubert, George Almond, Tommy Parkinson and Harry Price. Also I thank the Mothers' Union and the Bowling Club for their Christmas gifts."
Dvr. Robert Bond writes "I am sorry about not seeing you while I was on leave. I did call but you were out. My mate Chuck Wright is expecting getting married at Christmas, but, as luck would have it, I have had to return to my Unit."
Gunner Ronnie Whiteside writes from M.E.F. to say "In one of your N.Ls you said that some of the boys were in the country of oranges and all kinds of fruit. If only it had arrived sooner I would have had a good hunt for them, as I have just come back from up there. We got more fruit than we could eat. On the way back we passed along the high road by the sea on which our Lord walked. I was very surprised to see in the N.L, that my cousin Nick Taylor is in Italy. In your next N.L. please give him my best wishes."
Mr. John Hornby, B.E.M.,R.N. writes "I am waiting for a new appointment but where it will be I do not know. It is most difficult to buy Christmas Greeting Cards in this part of the world. All the shops say 'sold out'. All hearty greetings for Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year, with Peace in 1944."
Pte: Ronnie Sergeant writes "We are back in our original camp on the island now. We moved in yesterday. On Saturday I had an interview for transfer to the R.E.M.E. It looks as though, after trying for 3 1/2 years, I may get one of the two things I want. The other want, of course, is to be out of the Army. Please extend my best wishes to all my brothers in laws, cousins and friends, through the N.L., and let's hope that the coming year will see us all re united once more."
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. But there is not much chance of nipping home from here. Last Christmas I was on guard and didn't feel very patriotic, especially when two lads feeling rather merry tried to walk off with the sentry box. Remember me to David Hanson, Fred Bentham, Bob Hull, Bill Wright, Dick Johnson and my brother Bill."
O/S Ken Dandy, R.N. writes "Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and will you please pass on the same wishes to all my pals at home and in the Forces. If there were no N.L. we would not be able to pass on these little messages to friends and relatives. The Bishop of Norwich came to give the Service at our Church last Sunday, and it was one of the best services I have been to since I joined the Navy."
Stoker John Twist writes "It is a red letter day when I receive the N.L. I hope you have a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year, and I hope and pray that this time next year the world will be at Peace and Hitler where most of his U boats are at the bottom of the sea. Remember me to my best pals, Eric Abram and Bob Latham, both in the Army."
Dvr. Jack Robinson writes "I am in the fifth year of my Army life and it seems a long time to be away from home, but we hold our hands up to the lads out East. They have, indeed, done a good job of work. I have got a very good job here, the lads are very good, the Officers are very good, and we live in a house all fitted up with arm chairs and a wireless set, so we can't want any more than that. Remember me to Vera Iddon and all the girls and boys of the village."
LAC Tom Bolton (Longton, was assistant at Tarleton Co op), writes "I'm so far amongst the fortunate ones, having been here for 2 years now. We've lots of hard work, but the lads overseas will be much harder hit than we are. I was very sorry to hear about my old workmate, Nick Dewhurst being a prisoner of war. That's two of the Co op staff that old Jerry's got hold of. Remember me to Tom Dickinson, and all the other lads and lasses away from home."
Leading Seaman Jim Latham writes from his ship saying ."I have moved since last writing and am getting more or less settled down in my new boat. I suppose you will be getting ready for Christmas, for even though the war is on the laughter and fun of the children will still be heard."
O/S Tom Dickinson writes from his ship, "I will be ashore for Christmas, so I have something to look forward to. We have not been to sea much this last few weeks. Will you kindly remember me to Bob Howard, Ken Dandy, Bert Fawke, and all my other friends in the Services."
Nurse Alice Bentham C.N.R., writes "My brother Fred has just had his ten days' leave: Could you, please, thank the Bowling Green, the Mothers' Union and the British Legion for their gifts. I wonder how Anne Barron is liking her job in the C.N.R. She will find that nursing is not all that one thought it was, but she will probably love it all the same. This is my third Christmas in hospital."
Craftsman Jeffrey Wignall writes "I was passing through Virginia Water a few days ago, and I think it was that that reminded me that it was time I wrote to you. We are very busy at our place, and that includes Sundays, so we do not get a lot of time off".
Corpl. Sandy Laing writes "Many thanks for your N.Ls which are a real Godsend to me. Life at present is extremely quiet as I am still waiting to start my initial training. There are some quite big mountains nearby, but the weather does not permit climbing. The countryside is beautiful, but is spoilt by the rain and cold. I would like to be remembered to all in the Forces, especially Bill Lowe (Sollom), Bert Fawke, and Tom Dickinson."

More hope to face the unknown road, Along earth's pilgrim way,
More faith to lift life's heavy load, New Strength from day to day;
Out of the present toil and strife, Out of the sorrows past,
To struggle towards a better life, which shall be yours at last;
Courage to meet whate'er betide, with stalwart heart and true,
God's love your guard, His light your guide,
This is my wish for you, My New Year's wish for you.

Fall into line and be ready.
Wait not to follow, but lead:
Kelp yourself fit, clean and steady,
Type of the old sturdy breed.
Think of the youngsters, and show them
The way that a man may be made,
That Britain may presently know them
Her champions, her sons, unafraid!

That London has a population of 8,650,000 people, Near York 7,986,000, Tokyo 6,581,000, Berlin 4,299,318, and Moscow 4,137,000? .

That the highest building in the world is the Palace of the Soviets, Moscow which is 1,300 ft. high, the next highest being the Empire State, New York, which is 1,248 ft., the next the Chryser Building, New York 1,046 ft. the Eiffel Tower, Paris, is 984 ft. the Woolworth Building, New York, 702 ft. the pyramid of Cheops, Egypt, 450 ft. and St. Paul's Cathedral, London, to the top of the Cross, 365 ft.

The Pacific Ocean is 63,986,000 square miles in extent, the Atlantic Ocean 30,000,000 sq. miles and the Indian Ocean 28,350,000 sq. miles. Also that Greenland is the largest island with 827,300 square miles, New Guinea comes next with 330,000 sq. miles, while Great Britain has 88,745 sq. miles. Australia, which is both an island and a continent has 2,974,581 sq. miles.

Prepared for web viewing by Mere Brow Local History Society