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No: 291
December 6th

My Dear Boys and Girls,
Here comes my double Christmas number, which I hope you will all enjoy, together with my Christmas card and, as you know well, my very best wishes for you all at the festive season.
Let us all hope and pray that it may be the last Christmas that you spend away from your homes.
There is no need for me to tell you how greatly I long to see you all once more walking our village streets in civvies as completely free men and women.
The war has certainly taught us that there is strength in unity, and I hope that when you do get back we shall all pull together and make our village one to be envied throughout the whole country.
Throughout the war I have received scores of letters from complete strangers to me and the village, one and all praising the village for the way we have looked after its citizens in the Services. We have a high tradition to live up to, and I do not fear for one instant but that when you get home, you and I together will maintain it and hand it on, with added lustre, to those who come after us. That, at any rate, is my prayer. With my love and my blessing, ever your old friend and comrade, L.N.FORSE.

Last Saturday, in the Parish Church, Vera Iddon, Mount Pleasant, Sollom, was married to Harold Millward of Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, a Bombardier, RA. Reception and Wedding Breakfast at bride's home.
The engagement is announced between Leslie, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. T.C. Dyke, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, and Ethel, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Bailey, Glenmere, Hesketh Lane, Tarleton.
Mrs. Hugh Cookson, late of Sollom, died at Preston on Thursday and was buried at Tarleton on Saturday.
George Dallas of the former Dallas Buses, has bought the old boat-yard at the back of the Old Church, Hesketh Bank, and has re-fitted it, and is running a fleet of fishing boats from it.
Mrs. Tom Melling, Gorse Lane, has presented her husband with a daughter.
Flying Officer Harry Taylor has been mentioned in Dispatches for devotion to Duty when his aerodrome, near Southend-on-Sea, was bombed by the Germans during the war.
Derek Ball, Boundary Lane, HB, aged 8 years was killed on Thursday, when the bicycle he was riding came into collision with a service vehicle driven by an ATS girl, stationed at Leyland, just as Derek was coming out of Moss Lane in Hesketh Lane.
It has now been ascertained that Sgt. Jack Bourn, of Rufford, died as a POW in Jap hands on July 1st of this year.
Mrs. Ted Barnish (nee Marion Higham) is doing nicely after her operation. He is still in Preston Infirmary.
Frank Foulds has gone to India.
Ken Robshaw and Fred Forshaw are both expected home from India on or about December 10th.
Mr. James Baybutt, of Sollom, is very seriously ill.
Mr. Float, the Chemist, has a new lady chemist in his Tarleton shop in the place of Miss Phillips, who has gone to Barrow-in-Furness.
On Tuesday the Tarleton ATC gave their first annual dance at the Conservative Hall. They made about £35 in aid of their new recreation room which is being erected in the school garden.
The rector thanks Ken Dandy and Sam Alty Smith for Christmas cards received.
When the Rector was in London last week he spent a whole afternoon and evening in the House of Commons listening to the debate on the Government Housing Bill. He had tea in the House with the MPs and returned afterwards to the Debate. It was most interesting and very instructive.
Billy Sutton (Blackgate Lane) and John Tindsley, are both now home looking outwardly little the worse for their four years' sojourn as POWs in Jap hands. All four of our ex-Jap POWs are now home. There were five, but it will be remembered, alas, that the fifth, Jimmy Latham (Kearsley Avenue) died shortly after he was captured.
The Banns of Marriage between William Wright of Kearsley Avenue, and Millie Mullony, of Rufford, were read out for the second time on Sunday. They expect to be married in a fortnight's time.

William Harrison (Kearsley Avenue, brother of Jimmy), William Whittle, Harry Latham (from India), Peter Guy (Moss Lane, from India), Tom Rigby (Toll Bar, from India), Jimmy West, Carl Trowbridge (Edie Hanson's husband), Maurice Haskell, Billy Parkinson, Bill Ball (Moss Lane), John Iddon (Gorse Lane), Philip Rigby, John Rowland.

DEMOBBED: Alf Rowland, David Hanson, Jeffrey Wignall.

Sergeant Ernie Ball writes from Rawalpindi, India, "Everyone here is suffering from "Demob Fever" i.e. everyone below Group 50, for naturally when they are in 50 or 60 they don't worry very much. Group 22 left here about two weeks ago, and 23 are waiting for the word "go". So roll on 26, for this chicken, if they only gave me five minutes to get ready for home, I wouldn't know what to do with the other four minutes. I wrote to Fred Forshaw earlier on in the week."
Cpl. Roger Watson, RAF writes from Malaya, "You will see that I have moved further afield. My moves always seem to take me in the wrong direction. East instead of West. I have just completed 3 1/2 years' service out here and I've had enough of this. I came out of Burma about six months ago and moved to Southern India. After landing on the West Coast of Malaya, and moving from place to place I ultimately arrived here in Singapore. I was very glad to hear of the safe return of our ex-Jap POWs.
Sgt. Harley McKean writes from MEF "Corpl. Dick Gabbott left here yesterday for home on long-service grounds - four years overseas. Will you please note that I am a Sergeant, and not a Corporal, as you address me on your letters. Rioting was going on here last week in the principal towns. It was obviously an excuse for looting on a grand scale. However, after a couple of days - and several hundred people being injured and a few murdered - things quietened down. Peace once more reigns - of a kind. My Group number is 27!
LAC Charlie Wright (Tabby Nook) writes from Malaya "I am now in a town that goes by the name of KUALA LUMPUR. It is quite a big town and a very nice one. Lots of entertainment such as cinemas etc., and the town even boasts of a Fun Fair, nothing in comparison with Blackpool, of course, but for a place like this not so bad. But I would rather have India myself. There are still quite a number of Japs in this country, but they are working on different jobs now. I would like you to remember me to my old friends Robert Bond, Chuck Wright and Bill Ball, and don't forget the change of address.
Dvr. Fred Burns writes from Berlin, "As you will see I am now in Berlin, and as far as I can see it's nothing to shout about; only that there's bag of `frat`, if you know what I mean by that. Remember me to my brothers Tommy, Jimmy, Dick and George, also my brothers-in-law George West, Noel Butler and Harry Forrest, not forgetting all my old Tarleton pals in the Forces."
Pte. Abel Bickerstaffe writes from 'Demob Branch' MEF "I was glad to see that the Bishop of Blackburn is coming to the rescue to find someone to relieve you so that you can take a well-earned holiday, and much-needed rest. I spent 7 days' leave at Alexandria with my brother-in-law Dick Gabbott and Harley McKean and I had the pleasure of having some pleasant little chats with your nephew whom I met there. There is not much news from Cairo, but I expect that you have heard of the recent disturbances out here, but things are all quiet again now."
Dvr. Billy Harrison writes from CMF "I have got the chicken pox, and am feeling fine myself, but the spots are still all over me. I was only in bed for three days, but I am in a room on my own and the days seem very long. I had a letter from home the other day and they tell me that Tom has arrived home. If you have room in the NL please remember me to Bob Parkinson, John Caunce and George Farrington, and tell them I hope to be seeing them all again very soon."
Petty Officer Arthur Procter writes from Singapore "I am at present in the sick bay suffering from another relapse of malaria. Yesterday I had a letter from Jack Hodge and it seems we are not far from each other. He is at Bangkok (Siam) and expects to come to Singapore and so I must keep my eyes open for him. The last trip I made before coming to sick bay was to Rempang Island, which is over 100 miles away, and is commonly called Devil's Island. There are 200,000 Japs on this Island, their only companions being jungle beasts. They have to make their own quarters by chopping down trees and building huts. They all live on one spot on the island which they have cleared of jungle. My best wishes to Jack Hodge, Jack Waters, Jimmy Southern and Bill Hudson (Mere Brow)."
Dvr. Jimmy Southern writes from India Command "I am pleased to hear that Arthur Procter is still OK. We have lost touch with each other these last few months. When I received my NL today there was much excitement amongst the rest of the boys as it was the first, and only, letter for over a week between 150 of us. They all wanted a "read" so when I had finished I passed it on to them. It is the cool season out here but, believe me, it is mighty warm. Remember me to my brother-in-law Ronnie Brain, to my best pal Arthur Procter, and here's hoping he is the winner of the Singapore medal."
Cfn. T. Mayson (Rufford) writes from Antwerp "We are very busy out here, but I am looking forward to this weekend when I get my last Army leave before being demobbed. I am sorry that I shall miss Christmas once again in Rufford, but I have missed every one since 1939 so I have sort of got used to it by this time. I let a couple of lads read the NL and they are as keen to read it as I am. One comes from Birmingham and the other from Yorkshire, and they all say they wish they had you for their parson. Wishing you the happiest Christmas it is possible to have."
LAC Dick McKean writes from MEF "Everything out here is much as usual apart from an occasional riot between the Arabs and the Jews. I see Tom Alty is out here now, and if he is near Ismalia I might see him as I am not far from there. I am sorry that I am losing my pal R. Appleton who is being released under Class B. Dick Gabbott is on his way home at last. As to myself I am still living in the Middle East, but in another twelve weeks I should be on my way home, and I am counting the days. Remember me to all the lads in the Forces."
Gunner Tom Fazackerley CHINDWARRA, India Command, writes "My mates like to read the NL as much as I do. We are starting for DELHI this week, but goodness knows when we shall get there as we are going by road with out guns. We are giving a demonstration and I wish you could see the guns, they are a sight for sore eyes, everything that could be polished has been polished. We are expecting being on the road seven days. I shall be glad to see anyone who happens to be at Delhi. Anyone on the 3.7s will tell him where to find me."
LAC John Ball writes from Baghdad, "I have arrived here from Rutbah last Thursday after travelling the 300miles back across the desert. I had to do that journey on my own in a motor lorry which usually is a two man's job. Everything went well for the first 100 miles, then the engine stopped and would not start again. I was stuck there for three hours before I got a tow into a small village called Wadds. There I got my lorry put right and I carried on to Baghdad. However I had got to another village called Habbania when my engine stopped again. After another two hours I got towed into an Air Force camp where I stayed the night and my lorry had a good overhaul, and I got to Baghdad finally in the afternoon."
Corpl. R. Appleton writes from RAF MEF "Although I do not come from your parish I know all about the people in it, and have done ever since I have been out here through my great pal Dick McKean who would do almost anything for me. I have read your wonderful News Letter each week, and so I have got to know all that has happened in your parish. Now I am being demobbed and I want to tell you how much I have really enjoyed reading the NLs. I am not losing touch with my pal Dick McKean, but intend to visit him when he is demobbed. Remember me through the NL to Harley McKean, Dick Gabbott and Dick Burns."
Corpl. Harry Cookson writes from CMF "I have moved to Italy and what I have seen of it so far isn't too good, not half as clean as Germany. I am about 10miles out of Naples at present, but we are going on another 100 miles sometime this week. We came here in trains with wooden seats which got very hard by the time we had travelled a hundred hours in them. We got out for meals mostly in a morning and at night. I hope the next train ride I have will be the one with one ticket only."
Pte. Norman Wright writes from BAOR "I am still stationed at Dusselburg, and it is a very cold place, especially at night time and when we are on guard. I had four NLs waiting for me when I arrived back from leave, so I was kept very busy for some while reading them. Remember me to Jack Twist, Eric Abram, and all the local lads."
Gunner Nick Taylor writes from DEOLALI, India Command, "After an interesting voyage via the Mediterranean, we disembarked at Bombay. On the way we saw Tunis, Algiers, Bizerta, Cape Bon, the Isle of Pantelleria, passing through the Suez, Mount Sinai was pointed out to us by the Padre, who kept us well entertained every night by concerts in the ship's well-deck. This camp is surrounded by a few native villages which are out of bounds to troops owing to a severe rat plague carrying a deadly germ, the same as the plague of London which we read about at school. The rats vary in size from that of an English rat to the size of a terrier dog. Fruit is brought round all day by a native whog."
Sgt. Instructor George Hardcastle writes from Sussex "You will know that I am expecting to be demobbed in two or three weeks' time. My Group is 23, which starts on December 7th. I cannot very well ask you how you are getting along as I receive the NL so often and reading between the lines I can almost follow you round the village collecting all the news and titbits to put into it."
Pte. John Rimmer writes from Swindon "I have moved again and am now at a big food depot here. I was pleased to leave the mountains behind me in Scotland, and also the cold weather. I managed to get home for my brother David's wedding. Please remember me to my brother David and also to my old pal Fred Tiffen."
Peter Bryan RN writes from IOM "I am writing this to show you that I am still alive after 3 weeks in the Navy. This morning I went to Communion in the Chapel which was packed to capacity. After Christmas we move down to HMS Ganges. Boys who have been in this place six months are being drafted out to Hong Kong, so who knows I might spend next Christmas in China. The other day I was taken into a room where a pretty nurse was waiting for me, and then all the lights were switched off - she told me that in about 15 minutes I should see a small luminous disc with the hands of a clock on it. The idea was to see how my eyes reacted to the darkness. This went on for twelve times and I got 10 out of 12 right. If I hadn't passed this night adaptation test I should be spending the rest of my life in a clothing store or as a stoker." (The Rector knows HMS Ganges very well and will certainly pay Peter a visit when he gets there. It's a well-built ship and is absolutely unsinkable by any weapon except an atomic bomb).
Trooper Ted Barnish writes from BAOR "We seem to be worked to death and have no time to ourselves. There does not seem to be any real organisation in this centre. Thank goodness I did my service out East under General Alexander. He did know what he was doing. The camp we are stationed in is very near Belsen. They have christened out camp "Belsen No.2", which I think is very suitable. There is absolutely nothing doing round here. A few days ago I went to the Lunenburg trials and saw the criminals. The "Beast" and "Beastees" sat very quiet taking everything in."
Pte. Robert Edmondson writes from Pembroke "The draft is supposed to be moving out before the end of this month, but no one knows where we are going. Last week we had typhus inoculations, and this week we are getting inoculated for yellow fever, so it looks as though we were going somewhere hot and pretty damp. This morning everyone was out of bed in a couple of seconds when someone came in and said that there was real egg for breakfast. Usually we have that dried egg and bacon. Remember me through the NL to all the lads."
Warrant Officer David Hanson RAF "I expect that this will be the last letter that I shall write to you while I am in the RAF, for already I have signed my papers for a Class B release. Thank you for all the NLs I have received throughout my service life. They have been more than welcome. So goodbye from the Royal Air Force."
Leading Seaman Jimmy Latham writes from his ship "My address changes a lot and today I received a NL written in October which had been sent to the Ganges which I left in July. At present I am on work here on craft, and the quarters though warm are rather crowded, but that has always been a fault with the Navy. All the Flotilla was at the Service this morning in the local Church at Rosenheath. It was taken by the Vicar and the Naval Padre."
LAC Fred Pollard writes from Shilton "Last Sunday we had our Armistice Service, and the Assistant Chaplain General for the Western Area came down to preach. We had quite a big Church parade and, as usual, I was playing the organ. When I read in the NL the bit about John Caunce's expectations of coming on leave and then having it postponed, it put me in mind of my wife's brother who wrote saying when he should arrive, and the same thing happened to him. I shall be quite content to stay here until I am demobbed, which will be in about another 12 months."
AB Kenneth Dandy writes from Trieste, "I have been wondering if Tarleton will ever start the football and cricket games again when all the lads are back in civvy street, I mean the men who formed the teams before. The Padre here has been relieved after two and a half years' service out here. Last Sunday I went to the Morning Service and found the new Padre an excellent preacher. We are making our own Christmas decorations for the Mess-deck, and have bought a couple of turkeys, so that is something to look forward to."
Corpl. J.H. Sutton (Hesketh Lane) writes from CMF "I was expecting being home for Christmas and giving you a call in person, but once again the Army strikes. I have already completed 3 years and 10 months out here, but the official figure is still four years. I was surprised to see in the NL that Richard Tindsley is stationed at Sanigo, near Vicenza, in Italy. I am here in San Martins, twelve miles from Sanigo. You might let Dick know through the NL where I am, in case he should be home on leave. Remember me to my brother Jackie Sutton, Cousin Bob Howard, Bert Barron, Bert Miller, and all the boys through the NL."
Pte. Jackie Sutton writes from Portsmouth, "I am expecting being home in four weeks' time, and am ready for it. It is quite nice round here, but I would rather be in Ireland, there was more food there and the barrack rooms were much cleaner. However, they are not too strict here, nothing like they were at Ballykinlar. We don't get a lot of drill, but we get plenty of PT and lots of lectures. We left Ireland at 7am on Tuesday and got through to Portsmouth on Wednesday afternoon. We were travelling all night, but I managed to get a few hours' sleep in the train. Remember me to all the lads."

1. In my garden I have a cabbage patch. The cabbages were planted in rows symmetrically, two feet apart each way. When they were ready for marketing I sold all those growing all round the outside of the patch which left me with 165 cabbages. How many had I to start with?


6 5
4 9 7
2 3 8 0

The numbers on each side and the base of this pyramid add up to 13. I am not superstitious but I would like you to change the positions of some of these figures so that the side and base numbers add up to 14.

3. Pte. Gambler's luck was out. He started playing Pontoon on Monday night with £ his pocket. At the commencement of the game on Tuesday his capital had dropped to 16s.6d. - he lost seven shillings before "lights out". He lost the same proportion of his cash each time he played, so that at this rate of losing he began Thursday night's game with - how much?

4. Concealed in each of these sentences is the name of a familiar flower. Find the flowers thus hidden:-

"Don't argue, John! Hilda is years older than you!"
"If I wash the pans, you can dry them with the towel."
"Napoleon was a stern disciplinarian."
"Cowboy Ralph Eliot ropes cows with ease."
"In the heart of King Oscar, national pride held sway."

5. A tradesman sold a certain number of articles, and they realised £28.10s. Then he noticed a coincidence; he found that the number of articles sold was exactly the same as the number of shillings and pence which formed the price. For instance (although of course these are not the right numbers), 36 articles at 3s6d., or 55 articles at 5s5d. What were the actual figures the tradesman notices?

6. The Germans dropped a bomb in the road outside Mr. Smith's shop, and the only damage done was that a coping stone fell down and broke into four pieces. Out of curiosity Mr. Smith weighed the pieces individually and found, to his surprise and pleasure, that he was able to weigh articles of any integral weight (in pounds) from one to 40. What did the four pieces weigh respectively?

Father (breaking the news to his little daughter, Peggy) "Mummy has been given a nice little baby brother for you to play with."
Peggy: "Oh, it must have been our milkman."
Father: "Whatever do you mean, Peggy?"
Peggy: "Well, it says on his cart `Families supplied`."

Manager: "I'm afraid that if you cannot do your work any better, my lad, I shall have to get another boy."
Office boy: "Oh, thank you very much, sir, I could do with some help."

"It says here that a wealthy North of England man has left £50,000 to the women who refused to marry him twenty-five years ago", said a lady to her husband, reading the paper over the supper table.
"Well, that's what I call gratitude", commented her husband.

A shopkeeper put up a notice saying `Boy wanted`. Next morning he found on his doorstep a bawling baby in a basket with a label on it, saying `Here he is`.

Shop Manager: "That customer seemed very pleased when he went out. What did he want to see?"
Pretty girl assistant: "Me, at seven o'clock."

Ticket Collector, to old lady in a first-class compartment: "Are you First Class, madam?"
Old Lady: "I tidy, like, laddie. How's yourself?"

He tried to cross the railway track
Before a rushing train;
They put the pieces in a sack,
But could not find the brain.

Donovan and O'Leary had beds next to each other in the hospital, both suffering from similar trouble. The doctor came along and attended to Donovan's leg. He, poor fellow, screamed with pain. Then the doctor looked at O'Leary's leg. He patted it, twisted it, and thumped it. Not a murmur came from O'Leary. After the doctor had gone, Donovan shouted to O'Leary, "You're the bravest man I've ever seen."
"Not at all," replied O'Leary, "I saw what he did to you, so I showed him my good leg."

Irritated passenger: "Why are we waiting at the station, all this time, guard?"
Irish Guard: "Well, it's this way. Sorr, the train in front is behind, and this one behind, is before."

"Your wife is a very systematic woman, isn't she?"
"Very. She works on the theory that you can find whatever you want when you don't want it, by looking where it wouldn't be if you did want it."

Henpecked one: "When I told my wife I thought that she was very kind to me, she said that she was always taught to be kind to animals."

Two commercial travellers were discussing the careless manner in which their trunks and suitcases were being handled by the railway company. "It's difficult to know what to do", said one of the travellers, "some years ago I thought that I had a very cute idea, and I labelled each of my trunks and bags `WITH CARE - CHINA`." "And did not that have the required effect?" asked his friend. "No, the fools shipped the whole darned lot to Hong Kong."

"I see that they have taken the 7.50 off this line. Do you miss it?" asked one suburbanite of another. "I miss it, certainly, was the reply, "but not as often as I used to when it was on."

"What a 'ouse, what a gorgeous 'ouse," said the woman who had recently married rank and wealth, "what gorgeous furnishings and decorations." "I'm glad you like it replied her hostess, "we are rather proud of that bust over there, Marcus Aurelius." "Ow, indeed, the present markis or his dad."

"Now don't trouble to come any further, if you do you'll have to get a platform ticket." "Don't worry about that, it's worth more than a penny to have the pleasure of seeing you off."

Old Lady (to guard of the Scotch Express at Preston). "Does this train stop anywhere, guard?"
Guard: "Well, if she don't stop at Euston, lady, there'll be a most almighty smash."

Doctor: "Ah, Mrs. Hawkins, and how are you today?"
Old Mrs.Hawkins: "Well, doctor, I'm better than what I were, but I ain't as well as what I were before I was as poorly as I were."

Answers to Brain Twisters:

1. 221 (17 rows with 13 cabbage in each row).
2. 1
2 4
8 7 9
3 6 5 0

3. 5s.4d. He lost four-sevenths of his money at each game.
4. Daisy. Pansy Aster. Heliotrope. Carnation.
5. 76 at 7/6, comes to £28.10s.0d.
6. 1lb. 3 lb. 9 lb. and 27lb.

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