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No: 247
December 28th 1944

My Dear Boys and Girls,

Well, Christmas has come and gone, and as far as I am concerned not too good a one. Naturally my thoughts were chiefly about you away from, home, and most of you in the danger zone. Then again Miss Chapman's accident - and as most know she was a great personal friend of mine - cast a gloom over the day. However, we must all look forward to something better next year. But generally speaking I think that Tarleton had a good Christmas, although a very quiet one. Now we have to look forward to the New Year, and we all hope, and pray, that 1945 will be the Year of Victory.
With my love, my Blessing and my prayers,
Ever your affectionate old friend,

Big smash up last Monday at Bank Bridge. An American Army Waggon ran into a six-wheeled motor lorry and smashed it completely up. Driver of lorry taken to Preston Infirmary. American Army Waggon went on its way.
The house, semi-detached, in Moss Lane occupied by William Guy, was sold on Thursday by auction (Edward Moss, auctioneer) for £1,500. It cost about £300 to build some years before the war.
Mrs George West, Kearsley Avenue, has presented her husband with a baby girl. This is their fifth child - all girls.
The Rector thanks the following for Christmas cards received this week: - George Hardcastle; Alan Jay; Ian Forse; Jack Hodge; Eric Adams; Norah Pendlebury; Eric Booth; N D Abram; Bert Fawke; Jack Edmondson; Harold Rawlinson; Harley McKean; Barbara Coupe; Dick Rymer; Tom Harrison (Moss Side); Muriel Hind; Arthur Worth; Edward Harrison (Fermor Road); Ronnie Sergeant; Joe Power; Raymond Coupe; Jack Ashcroft; James Glover; Ronnie Townsley; Freddy Pollard; Pamela Fairey; Ernie Ball; Eddie Farrell; Squadron Leader H O S Lowe; Harry Price; Robert Noble; Mrs A Swift (Agnes Rigby); Tom Southworth; Frank Croft; Hugh Melling; Vera Iddon.
Frank Foster has got his discharge from the Army on medical grounds.
The Preston Guardian of this week contains a photograph of those present at the dinner the Officers of the 13th (Lancaster) Battalion Home Guard gave in honour of the Colonel, Lt Col P L Wright DSO MC, at Rainford's Café, Preston last Friday. It shows Major Dodd MC, second in Command, presenting the Colonel with a silver salver, the gift of the Officers. The Rector who has been chaplain to the Battn. since the beginning is seen seated next to the Colonel.
All the sirens in the district sounded on Christmas Eve for the first time for over three years.
The father and mother of Bert and Matthew Fawke, who have returned to Liverpool, have sent the Rector a very kind letter of thanks for all that he is trying to do for all the lads away.
The Rector also thanks the following for Christmas cards which arrived just as we were going to Press: - Harry Alty; Bob Johnson; Ken Nicholson; Maurice Haskell; David Hanson, and a greetings telegram from John Rimmer.

Fred Pollard; Harry Iddon (From France); David Hanson;
David Rimmer; Yorrie Davies; George Wait; William Harrison (Holmes); Sandy Laing; Bob Edmondson; Jimmy Hague.
Mrs Caunce, Sollom, mother of Mrs John Rogers has broken her wrist as the result of a fall.
Congratulations to Johnny Hague who has now passed all hid examinations and is a fully-fledged Lieutenant in the RNVR.
The eldest Miss Chapman, of Rougemont, Hesketh Lane, fell while indoors on Christmas Day and broke a femoral (thigh) bone.

AB Tom Dickinson writes from his ship in the middle east, "You will see that we have been in the operations for the relief of Greece. As we were the first ship into Piraeus we got a terrific welcome of flowers and clapping. They just mobbed us and clamoured to shake hands and clap us on the back. Now the thing is different; instead of flowers it is bullets and its no sky lark to get sniped at while you work. The first day they had a go before we had anything to do with it. We were in a mix up with them, in between the two opposing parties. There's going to be a gradely fight here this week. Remember me to Bob Howard, Ken Dandy and Tom Bolton, and all my friends away from home".
L/Sergt Tom Tindsley writes from BLA, "I am keeping very fit and well despite the wretched weather in Holland. It never seems to stop raining and the mud is beyond description. Up to the boot-tops would be a mild expression. My kind regards to all the boys and girls, and return good wishes to Jim Latham, (RN) and greetings to cousin Hubert, George Almond, Harry Price and Harry Forrest".
Dvr/Cpl Fred Bentham writes from BLA<"Things have been a bit sticky out here in more ways than one, but it has calmed down a bit this last couple of weeks. Last week I found the HQ of the Battery I used to be in only to find they had moved out the night before, so I was stumped again. I have not heard much of my pals in the NL lately, so please remember me to Ronnie Iddon (Chunky), David Hanson, Fred Burns, and all the rest of them".
LAC Walter Rawsthorne, RAF, writes from BLA, "I have covered most of Belgium and quite a bit of Holland. Robert Barron and I have been corresponding. I hope you will like the enclosed photo of myself. Life out here is mostly routine with very little to write about. I would like to see the old village now that the lights are on. I take this opportunity of wishing you and all my comrades the very best of everything for Christmas and the New Year.
Cpl James Burns writes from BLA, "Many thanks for the NLs that always get through when other mail is held up. I have been in touch with my brother George and hope to see him again before long. I am still in Belgium and hope to stay here as the place is not too bad. Remember me to my brothers, Dick, Tom, George and Fred, and my pals Harry Forrest and George West, and the Melling boys, and to all in the Forces say through the NL 'May the Peace o0f God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord'".
ERM Dick Burns, RN writes, "It is quite a while since I sent you a photo but have not seen any comment about it in the NL (Well, here it is Dick, it arrived quite safely, it is a very good one of you, and is now framed and in the Lady Chapel with all the others. Many apologies for not acknowledging it before). Give my best regards to my brother Jim (BLA), Tom (Italy), George (BLA), Fred (England), and my brothers-in-law Harry Forrest (MEF), George West and Bert, Hugh and Nick Melling. I saw in the NL that Sub-Lieut. Bob Iddon RNVR had met Tom Dickinson out here. I am not far from Tom but have not had the pleasure of meeting him as yet".
Sapper George Barker writes a letter from BLA, upon which the Censor has used the scissors very liberally. He says "I met Joy Keane here the other day. She is the first person that I have met whom I know since I came across. We were building a dining hall for the staff here when the Padre came round wanting to know if he could use it for his Services until he got a recreation hut built. Of course we rigged it up for him, organ included, and he invited us to the Services, but that meant taking us off our work, but we worked ahead of schedule and that enabled us to go, which we did each week until he got his recreation hut finished and then he moved there".
LAC Eric Bell, RAF writes from BLA, "The mail has been very bad for the past week or so, but the faithful NL still manages to pop up on time. All my work on the Wing is connected with the Padre as he is the Welfare Officer and looks after the Cinema of which I am the projectionist. Recently it was my job to give a film show to 590 Dutch children from the ages of four to fourteen. The Wing gave a party for them and they really enjoyed it. After the show each child received some chocolate and sweets".
AC1 Dick McKean airmails from MEF "I am still seeing my brother Harley regularly and also my pal R Appleton who writes to you. He is receiving his NLs and is delighted with them. Please remember me to all in the Forces, especially my brother Frank and Bill Abram".
Gunner Arthur Harrison sends a letter adorned at the top with a very beautiful coloured Dutch scene. He says "As I write this it is pouring down with rain and its like a mud heap round here. I spent a grand time in Brussels last week but it was only 48 hours. Please thank the Bowling Club and the Women Conservatives for the money they gave my wife. I have not heard from Jack Robinson nor Bill Barker, but I hope they are keeping well. Remember me to my sister-in-law Vera Iddon and my brother-in-law Nick Forshaw, and say 'keep smiling Nick, it won't be long now before we will be home for good".
LAC Jimmy Skelly writes from BNAF, "You will know that I was a great pal of the late Tom Parkinson. I am a Londoner myself and I can assure you that an NL of the same type dealing with the little bits of local news would be very welcome, but there is nothing of the kind printed. I had a letter from Mrs Parkinson recently and I am glad to find that she is bearing up under her burden. Believe me I feel truly sorry for her".

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