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No: 250
January 18th 1945

My Dear Boys and Girls,
This week we have been welcoming home, on privilege leave, some of our lads who have been in foreign parts for several years. It has pleased me really to find that one of their first calls has been to the Rectory. Gratitude is not a thing one looks for, or even expects, but when it does come one's way it is very sweet.
But the debt is most certainly not one-sided, for we at home owe you who are away an immense debt of gratitude for all you are enduring for our safety and comfort. It will be very difficult indeed for this generation and posterity, to repay all that we owe you for the sacrifice of so many valuable years of your lives in order that we may exist and retain our freedom. Our service and offerings to you, in whatever form they may be given, must necessarily be insignificant in comparison with your service to us. Really all those of us who have stayed at home, and certainly all who have materially profited by the war, should take our hats off to you every time we meet you in the street.
May God bless you all and, of His mercy and Love, bring you safely back to enjoy the fruits of your labours in the peace and quiet of the little village I know you all love so well.
Ever you affectionate Friend and Debtor,

Lieut. Johnny Hague RNR has passed his final examinations for Chief Engineer and rejoins his ship in the capacity of First Engineer. He has now no more exams to pass.
Morris the electrical engineer has temporarily closed his shop in Church Road.
George Iddon, Gorse Lane, was married on Saturday in the Methodist Chapel to Anne Monaghan. Reception and Wedding Breakfast in Chapel Schoolroom.
Mrs Harry Iddon, Ivydene, Carr Lane, has presented her husband with a daughter.
The Rector gave his usual Epiphany Party for the Altar Servers and the boy and girl friends on Monday night. 42 guest turned up. There were 50 candles round the Twelfth Night cake which was cut at midnight. Usual Hot-Pot, Pop (80 bottles consumed), Conjuror, Ventriloquist (both from Southport), games etc. The Party broke up at 2.30 am.
Harry Yates of Mere Brow, brother to the Rector's housekeeper Alice, is now driving one of Garlick's vans.
Annual Meeting of the British Legion on Friday night. The Rector again elected Chairman, Mr Robert Rowland, Vice-Chairman, Mr Burt, Secretary, Mr Bailey, Treasurer, Frank Foster and Alan Barnes, two of this war's Ex-servicemen, were put on the Committee.

Jimmy Swift, RAF. From Nairobi, East Africa: Robert Barron, Hesketh Lane, from BLA: Harry Devitt, from India: Hubert Tindsley: Billy Whittle:
John Webster: Norman Wright: William Holmes (married Jenny Tomlinson).
The house with 2 3/4 acres of land containing 17 greenhouses, belonging to Mr Moses Johnson of HB were put up for auction on Saturday. The highest bid was £5,600, made by Mr Robert Sutton,
Moss Lane, but the lot was withdrawn as the reserve price of £10,000, was not reached. The house, land and greenhouses to be sold were not those where Mo Johnson lives in Boundary Lane, but those belonging to him almost opposite in Moss Lane.
Mrs William Pickervance has presented her husband with a second child - a girl.
Mrs John Gibbons (nee Bessie Sephton) has presented her husband with a third child - a girl.
The infant child of Mr and Mrs Arthur Fleet (May Cookson) was christened on Sunday at Tarleton Parish Church by the names of Brenda Elizabeth.
The infant child of Mr and Mrs George West, Kearsley Avenue, was christened on Sunday in Tarleton Parish Church by the name of Kathleen.
Harry Hoyle shore Road, HB, who has been in Canada with the RAF has just returned home. While in Canada he got married, and his wife is following him to England.
George Caunce, Sollom, who has been driving for Garlick's went to Swinton Mining School on Monday as a Bevin Boy.

Dvr John Caunce sends two airmails from CMF saying, "I am just getting ready to go out, although it will be nothing like home, there is not much to go out for, only pictures. I am hoping to write you another letter, for I want to be the first to write to you in 1945, so I have just five hours out and then I start another letter to you. I will start writing it at one minute past twelve. As I am writing this about 7 pm I have a good chance of being the last to write to you in 1944. Remember me to John Spencer".
Pte Arthur Barron writes, "We are very busy at present and that has upset our chance as regards long leave, but we are hoping to get it at a later date. We are on a fresh run now, but as you know I am unable to say by letter where we are or whither going".
Dvr Dick Sephton airgraphs from MEF, "I have only a short time to do out here now, a matter of a few weeks, before I leave the Coy, so please discontinue sending the NL, I hope in the very near future to visit you in person, and believe me, I'm looking forward to that day. We look like having a decent time at Christmas, plenty of turkeys, geese and pork, so we are not so badly off. To all at home and my friends in the Forces the very best of fortune for the New Year".
Pte Joe Power writes from BLA, "We had a very excellent Christmas, plenty of tinned turkey, chicken and pork, not forgetting the Christmas pudding. The lady who has the café where we are billeted lent us linen tablecloths, crockery, cutlery and wine glasses. With a sprig of holly here and there we felt almost like home. We had a good issue of sweets and chocolates which we pooled. This weather is the Dutchman's delight, the canals are crowded with skaters. Remember me to all in the Forces, particularly to W Melling, RN, wishing all a safe return".
L.Cpl Kenneth Robshaw writes from India, "I am duty NCO for all next week and my main job is getting the sick parade and dishing out the Mails, so I should manage that alright. I have just arrived back from a jungle camp and believe me, I was pleased to see the Barracks one more. Remember me to all the lads not forgetting Harry Price, Tom Rigby, Jack Walsh, and my brother Wesley".
Stoker Jack Twist writes in his submarine far down beneath the deep blue sea, "I am receiving the NLs regularly, and am keeping in the best of health. I expect you had a very quiet Christmas in the village, but it will be swell when all the girls and boys are home again to enjoy the season. Remember me to two of my best pals, Eric Abram (France), and Bob Latham (Italy) and top all the others in the Forces".
LAC Bert Barron airmails from CMF, "This is the place where once upon a time we had bouquets thrown at us; now-a-days we get other things thrown at us which are not so healthy Before the 'do' started I managed to get around quite a lot, Athens being the main target. However I still prefer Sollom Cross to the Acropolis. The lingo seems pretty difficult, it makes me wonder why it is taught in some of our public schools. Christmas was very uneventful, just a good dinner and then shoulder to the wheel again. My kind regards via the NL, to my sister Ann, cousins Bob and Arthur and last, but not least, to my pen shy friend Frank Timperley".
Gunner Dan Stazicker airmails from CMF, "At present I am billeted just outside Rome so you can just imagine the sort of Christmas I've had. I am enjoying the long awaited rest. I have had a real good Christmas but I am sorry to say that I have not been able to make my Christmas Communion, although we had a Communion Service a couple of Sundays before in an upper room of a house, and it was the first since Chezio".
LAC Tom Southworth writes, "We are leaving this address en route for overseas. I will write again when we get somewhere and then perhaps I shall have something interesting to write about. Please thank via the NL, the Women's Conservative Assoc the British Legion Women, and the Mothers' Union for their kind gifts of money and their good wishes for Christmas and the New Year".
John Spencer writes from his coal mine "There are not many points of interest to tell you about a coal mine. I am sorry to say that I don't think I shall be able to get to the Epiphany Party this year. It will be the first one I have missed since I became a Server. Remember me to my friends John Caunce, Ronnie Iddon (Chunky), Fred Bentham, and my brother Tom, also to Dick Sephton, whom I have not yet met, but hope to have that pleasure before long".
Joe Rimmer (Moss Side Mere Brow), writes from his coal mine, "I am settling down to the pits again, although it seemed a bit strange after being home. By the extracts in the NL there are worse places than the pits by a long way. I see that Jimmy Taylor is in the pits in Cumberland. I didn't know there were any pits there. There are no pictures in the village, but there are some about three miles off".

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