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No: 254
February 15th 1945

My Dear Boys and Girls,
To make matters quite clear, here are a few facts concerning the Mayor of Preston's scheme for getting men to their homes who arrive at Preston Station after 10pm, and before 4.30am. The Mayor supplies the necessary coupons for the petrol so we need not worry about that item. Directly a local lad arrives at Preston he should go at once to the RTO and ask him to ring up Hesketh Bank 230. The Rector then gets out his car and meets the lad concerned at the RTO's Office just outside the main entrance. Mr Joe Cowell and Mr William Dandy (Hesketh Lane) have also promised to help the Rector by sending their cars if required.
The Rector will pick up lads for Hoole, Bretherton, Rufford, Hesketh Bank and, of course, Tarleton. So tell any of your mates from these parishes. There is now no need for any lad to walk the nine miles home, as many have done in the past, nor to sleep on the flags at Preston Station. Ring up Hesketh Bank 230, and sleep comfortably in you own bed!

As ever with all my Love, my Blessing and my prayers,
Ever your affectionate friend and Rector,

The paraffin kept at the back of Henry Baybutt's van caught fire as he was on the way to Burscough last Saturday, and before he knew anything about it the whole van was ablaze. All his stock was burned to ashes and only the chassis and engine remained. Henry was unhurt.
William Prescott, of Square House Lane, Banks, died on Tuesday and was buried in Tarleton Churchyard on Friday. He was 84 years of age.
The Rector called a meeting of all the mothers and wives of men serving in HM Forces, on Thursday evening, to discuss the many post war problems that will face the lads when they return. There were about 200 present, and the Rector provided them with a cup of tea and very light refreshments.
The Schools had their mid-term holiday on Friday, Monday and Tuesday
Lieut George Wilson, of Bretherton, who was recently reported 'killed in action' while fighting in BLA is now reported to be a prisoner-of-war in Germany It appears that a broadcast from him was picked up by the War Office saying that he was a POW and quite well. The War Office immediately informed his wife and parents.
The ladies of the Welcome and Welfare Fund (Tarleton and Mere Brow) held a huge Auction Sale in the schools on Saturday, and together with a Whist Drive which was held in the evening, raised over £160. A pre-war bottle of whiskey made well over £16. The Rector sold 100 copies of the NL at 6d each. The whiskey, by the way, went to Brockhouses.
The week old baby of Mr and Mrs Harold Forshaw, Gorse Lane, was taken suddenly ill in Thursday, the Rector was sent for to christen it, and immediately afterwards Dr Croft ordered it to be sent to a Liverpool children's hospital. Latest report is that it is doing well.
Mrs Hugh Melling (nee Jenny Slinger HB) gave birth to a baby boy on Saturday.
Sergeant Frank Hewitson, who has just returned on leave after some years in CMF, was married on Saturday in Hoole Parish Church to Margaret Joan Humber, of Hoole.

John Robinson (from BLA) Vernon Ogden (from sea, he was on the Trumpeter during its victorious engagement with the enemy off the coast of Norway); Stanley Holden (HB); David Hanson; George Almond; Frank Cairns (Mere Brow).

L/Cpl Norman Barron writes from BLA, "I am still somewhere in Belgium but haven't as yet picked up any of the Lingo. This country boasts some very nice Churches, but they do not come up to the beauty of our own. While over here I have dropped across Joey Keene and
Capt Cooke who married Nellie Cookson. Remember me to Jack Moss, cousin Dick Gabbot, Stan Johnson and all the lads of the old gang".
Sapper Eric Edmondson airmails from CMF, "We are having wintry weather here, snow is falling on some days, and then plenty of rain. In this detachment there are three from Lancashire, one from Darwen, one from Preston and myself, but the Preston lad has just gone into 'Dock' (meaning hospital) with a septic leg. In my billet we have a wireless and a stove now so it is possible to spend a pleasant evening there. The Italians who work for us are just clocking off work for the evening. Remember me to my brother-in-law Ronnie Sergeant, my cousin Nick Forshaw, and all in the Forces".
Dvr Bob Iddon airmails from CMF, "I saw in the NL I received last week that you couldn't remember a Richard Iddon. Well it was my number and address, but my name is Robert. I live in Bretherton and before joining up spent many happy hours in Tarleton working for Jack Mee. I was unlucky on Christmas Eve, the truck I was driving broke down and I had to be towed in on Christmas Day and didn't get my dinner until four (better luck next year). The heavy fall of snow prevented me from going to Florence on seven days' leave. Best wishes to Leslie Clarkson, John Ball, and all in the Forces".
AB Walter Ascroft, RN airmails from Egypt, "Since I last wrote to you I have been to Italy and Malta chasing a ship up I was supposed to be going on, but unfortunately when I arrived in Italy it had left, so from there I went to Malta after it, but the same thing happened. It had just left. So I had my draft cancelled and was posted back here. We are sleeping in tents. We have a Church Service every Sunday and I enjoy it very much, the padre here is a very nice chap".
Corpl Jimmy Sutton airmails from CMF, "Excuse me for not writing lately, but we had a sticky time around Christmas and the New Year. Well, I am writing this under pleasant conditions compared with those we have had during the past few months. We are in a large house sitting in front of a fire and listening to the wireless. Yes, it is good. I was pleased to receive a letter from my Uncle and Aunt in Blackgate Lane telling me they had received two letters from my cousin Bill who is POW in Jap hands. Remember me to my cousin Robert Howard, Bert Barron, and Jack Moss all in CMF, also to all in the Forces".
Gunner Philip Rigby airmails from SEAC, "I have got one NL dated 4/1/45 which must have taken a short route to this out of the way place. I see that you put in it that I was in India, but I was in Burma and have been for nearly twelve months now. We have been chasing Yappy those last few weeks, but he can show a pair of clean heels. That was why I said in my last letter that I should not have time to write. Remember me to Bill Ellison, through the NL, and say I hope he enjoyed his pig and cock chicken he mentioned".
Dvr Joe Wait airmails from CMF, "I have just had a very good leave in Florence and have seen quite a lot of my old pals but so far I have not seen any of the Tarleton lads. It is very cold with quite a lot of snow. Please convey my best thanks to the MU, WBL, Bowling Club, for their gifts, and remember me to my brothers Edgar, and George, Harry Iddon and all the lads and lassies in the Forces".
Dvr John Caunce airmails his 80th letter saying, "I have just had a letter from Bill Harrison, and as we are moving if we do not happen to stay at the place Billy is at, at least we shall pass through it, so I may just be able to look him up. If there is a short break in my mail you will know it is because we are on the move. Remember me to John Spencer and tell him I hope he is settling down in his new job. Tell Mr Catchpole I am waiting for him to bring the boat out to fetch me back home".
Pte Peter Guy airmails from SEAC, "I am at present in action in Burma against the Japs, I can't state where for devious reasons, but I can say that we are driving the yellow rats out of it. I met Joe Eastham just before Christmas at a football match in Kohima in the Assam area, and also Harry Latham, so it is a small world. We are all looking for the day when we see the old steeple once again. I am now off to dinner, bully and biscuits".
Sapper George Barker writes from BLA, "I have just spent six weeks in hospital with an injured foot. I broke a bone which just nicely managed to see me in dock over Christmas and the New Year. I have been out about a fortnight. I am now sleeping in the next bed to Norman Barron, so you can count on a bit of chatter between us. Please give my thanks, through the NL to the MU for their Christmas gift".
AC1 Freddy Coupe writes from the West Indies, "It is now the Cricket Season down here, and by the look of things everyone on the island plays. As I pass through the villages I always see a crowd of people playing cricket on the village greens. It is getting quite hot out here, but gets colder at night which is an advantage".

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