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No: 257
RECTOR'S WEEKLY LETTER
March 8th 1945

My Dear Boys and Girls,
I hope that you enjoyed last week's bumper number. The next one will be the Easter issue. This week three lads have benefited by the new arrangement whereby I am allowed to fetch lads from Preston Station at any hour throughout the night. The lads were Jimmy Harrison; George Taylor (HB), and Gordon Laing, brother of Sandy Laing. Also I asked Bill Dandy, Hesketh Lane, to bring home Harry Price who telephoned to tell me he would arrive at Preston at 2.30am.
So do not hesitate to telephone or ask the RTO to do it for you. He will do it willingly.
With my love, my prayers and my Blessing,
Ever your faithful old friend,
L N FORSE

HOME FRONT NEWS.
Mr Connor, the bungalow, next to Douglas's, Blackgate Lane, died on Monday and was buried at Southport.
Mr Swarbrick, the former Headmaster of Mere Brow Schools, who retired and went to live at Frodsham twenty years ago, died on Monday, and was buried at Tarleton with his first wife, on Thursday. Large numbers of scholars from Mere Brow were present at the funeral. He was 80 years of age.
Mr Henry Harrison, Verona, Blackgate Lane, died on Wednesday, and was buried at Tarleton on Saturday. He was 55 years of age.
The Rector visited the Mines again on Tuesday and managed to get five more Bevin Boys into the Giant Hall Pit at Shevington. They are John Spencer, Jeffrey Pickup, Joe Rimmer, Henry Baybutt, George Caunce.
Mere Brow folk held a huge Auction Sale in the Schools on Saturday on behalf of the Welcome Home Fund. The place was packed and good prices were fetched. In the evening the school children gave a Concert. Total money raised, afternoon and evening, £237.
On March 14th, Mr Edward Moss is selling by auction Richmond House, the large house at the corner Moss lane and Hesketh Lane.
The infant child of Mr and Mrs (nee Bessie Sephton) Gibbons of Netherhaven, Hesketh Lane, was christened on Sunday with the names of Patricia Frances.

ON LEAVE:
Jack Hodge; Alan Cook; Gordon Laing; Bill Wright.

EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS.
Cpl James Burns writes from BLA, "I had my first trip into Germany on --, so the boys will have to do some running if they are to beat me for that Berlin Medal, but we don't get the same chance as the Infantry. I would like to be remembered to my brothers Dick (MEF), Tom (CMF), George (BLA), Fred (England), and brothers-in-law Harry Forrest (MEF), George West, the Melling boys, Bill Bridge, Dick Sephton, and all in the big Pool. And could you answer this one in your next 'Brain Buster', "What makes water wet"?
Gunner Harry Harrison writes from BLA, "All being will, I hope to leave here on March 24th on a spot of leave. I am longing to see our new home. As I write this letter it is now 9.15pm and we are having some fried fritters we have just cooked. I wish you could see the boys fetching chickens and rabbits in. We had pork yesterday".
Cpl Harry Cookson writes from BLA, "Sally told me about the meeting you had for all the Servicemen's wives, mothers and sweethearts, you surely do work hard. I see that L/Cpl Norman Barron has dropped across my brother-in-law
Ronnie Cooke out here, I have not seen anyone I know yet, but there is a lad from Croston whom I know. His name is Bob Hough and he is in my battalion. Remember me to my two brothers-in-law Harry and Ronnie also Jim Leacy, and say to Jim 'What about another letter from you Jim'? So cheerio, and lots of luck".
L/Cpl Kenneth Robshaw writes from India Command, "Things are about just the same out in this part of the world, except that the war seems to be moving a little faster. I am keeping in the best of health and am getting plenty of mail. I am trying to get a snap of myself taken to send to you, but it takes time. Remember me to all the lads in the Forces".
Dvr John Caunce airmails from CMF, "On my way to my new destination I passed by Billy Harrison's camp, but I could not see him. I did see one of his mates from his coy., and he said that he would tell Billy that he had seen me. I am sorry that I could not be at the Home Guard Social, for you will remember that at the last one I attended I had about six helpings of hot-pot. Remember me to all the boys and girls in the Forces, and wish them all a safe and speedy return".
ERM Dick Burns, RN writes from his ship, "I have a NL missing, as the serial numbers I got to-day are 244 and 246 respectively, and by all appearances it's the Home Forces New Year double number, so I hope I get it before long. Since I came out here in 1943 I have kept them all to take home with me. I had a letter from my brother Jim by the same mail as yours. He seems to be in good health apart from a spill he had on his motor bike, but he does not make much comment about it. My best wishes to all my brothers, Jim, Tom, George and Fred, brothers-in-law Harry Forrest, George West, the Melling brothers, Bert Price, and also Noel Butcher". (NOTE. Yes, No 245 was the double New Year number with a letter from Commander King-Hall. I am sending another copy on to you. Also I did get the photograph of the King you sent me, and it is now in the Lady Chapel).
Dvr John Iddon airmails from MEF, "I have been very busy during these last few weeks and have not had much time for writing. I met Eric Butterworth in the camp the other day, and he wishes to be remembered to all the boys at Tarleton. I give him the NLs when I have finished with them. Also I met Ronnie Pilkington and he looks very well. My kind regards to my brother Harry, also Dick and Ronnie and Dick Blundell".
Pte Abel Bickerstaffe airmails from MEF, "Now that I am out here in Egypt I realise more than ever now how valuable the NL is. Conditions out here are very good and we get lots of good food and plenty of fruit. There is a Cinema in the camp of similar dimensions to the 'Queens' at Tarleton. Our religious worship is done in a tented Church and we have some very nice sermons. Please convey my regards, through the NL to my brothers-in-law Howard and Dick Gabbott, and to Sam Iddon, of Hoole, who was one of my old cricketing pals in pre-war days".
Trooper Alec Barnish airmails from CMF, "I am in Greece at the present, having been at Athens, but now I am able to tell you that I am now at Salonika. I was not able to get to Communion on Christmas Day as I was on duty, and very sticky duty at that. I shall never forget Christmas Eve 1944. But things got more pleasant in the New Year, and I was able to get to Communion then. I have just ended to-night a very busy 5 weeks cooking, having been acting as cook to about 60 men. We have got one of our Unit cooks now, so I am able to get back to my own job again, but I have the pleasure of having satisfied the boys with their meals".
LAC Jack Clemmy airmails from CMF, "A few days ago I had a very pleasant outing to a little place in the hills. I got a chance to air my French again. I would just like to be back again in either Corsica or the south of France. I am looking forward to being in Blighty by the end of June, and I only hope that they give me the month's leave in Rome, but I do not feel too keen about it".
Cpl Edwin Crabtree writes from some very outlandish place in Wales, "On January 13th, I went in front of a Medical Board and was downgraded to Category C2 for six months owing to stomach trouble, and now I am hoping that the war will end before the expiration of my temporary grading. I am well up on the demobbing chart, i.e. No. 19, which means, in my opinion, almost immediate discharge".
Pte George Farrington writes, "I was sorry I could not get round to see you again before I came back but I was busy running around and looking after my little baby. I have not had time to look round this place yet for, as you know, there are all kinds of kit inspections and so on when one joins a new Unit".
ACW Pam Fairey writes, "I have been engaged for the past few weeks on a new and more interesting job, which makes me feel that I really am helping to bring this war to a speedy and victorious conclusion. When one mentions 'Records Office' to Servicemen and women it is usually a signal for a chorus of groans. But very few realise how interesting, and vital, to the RA this Office really is. Please give my kind regards through the NL to Barbara Coupe and my other friends".


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