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No: 293
December 20th

My dear Boys and Girls,
Once again, for those for whom it is not too late, a very merry Christmas, and an early demob in the New Year and I cannot, I am sure, send you any better wish than that.
In some ways those abroad are better off than we are at home, for you can get cigs and other necessaries of life, and reasonably cheap at that.
However, we must not grumble, for we have won the war, and we have, by the Grace of God, the privilege of taking a leading part in the reconstruction of the whole world - a very great responsibility, and an equally great privilege. We must see that we make ourselves worthy of so great an opportunity, and that we build upon a sure and solid foundation so that our children may be spared the agonies of the past two generations. And you know, as well as I know, that the only sure and permanent foundation is Jesus Christ, our Lord. With my love, my blessing and every good wish, ever your affectionate old friend,

The Banns of Marriage were asked for the first time on Sunday at Tarleton Parish Church between Kenneth Harding, of Werneth, Oldham, and Gladys Hodson, Blackgate Lane. John Aughton, Tarleton Moss, bought Golifer's house in Moss Lane, last Saturday, for £1,250.
Fred Johnson, brother of John Johnson at the Lock, bought Mrs. Howard's (Hesketh Lane), two quite large greenhouses for £130.
The Sale of Work on behalf of the British Legion Club Fund held in the schools last week realised about £90 clear. The local Brownies held a Sale of Work last Saturday and made about £40 for the Welcome and Welfare Fund. The Mere Brow school children gave an excellent concert in the Schools on behalf of the Welcome and Welfare Fund last Wednesday evening. So far the amount realised has not been stated.
The traffic lights have been put back at the Windgate. The Americans smashed them up so often with their wagons that they were removed for a time. The Movement Control Headquarters is leaving Bank Hall in January, and is returning to Southampton, from where they came five years ago. Colonel and Mrs. Jones have already left. The rector still has some Sergeant Majors billeted at the rectory, but they will all go in January. They have been with the rector now for five years. The Mission Room, Hesketh Lane, has been returned to the rector. For five years it has been commandeered as an Ambulance Centre. The rector thanks the following lads for Christmas cards received:- Ralph Whitehead (Rome), John Ball, Wesley Cottages, Church Road, (Baghdad), Jack Ashcroft, Hesketh Lane (India), Dick McKean (MEF), Alec Barnish (Greece), Jack Twist (Hong Kong), Kenneth Nicholson (HMS Colossus, probably in Pacific), George Wait (Bombay), Robert Noble (Greece), Joe Wait (MEF), Ernie Ball (India), Dick Blundell (India), Robert Bridge (Ceylon), Alan Jay (SEAAF), Jack Parker (India), Walter Ascroft (HMS Sylvia, Mediterranean). Young Harry Mayor, son of Giles Mayor, Park Lane, Holmes, won a 10-stone live pig in the Bowling Green raffle last Friday. The raffle made £160. Nick Forshaw has been demobbed. George Taylor, aged 75, of `Kenilworth`, Moss Lane (it used to be a shop) was knocked down on Friday night by Quinlan's van, and severely injured.

Sid Ball, from Italy, Kenneth Robshaw, from India, Eva Foulds, Harry Price, Nick Dewhurst, Jack Marsden (for 2 days), John Webster, Bill Hudson (Mere Brow) from Pacific, Fred Burns.

LAC Freddy Coupe writes from "Labrador" "It doesn't seem twelve months since I spent my last Christmas in Trinidad, time certainly flies. Thanks for the NLs which I am receiving regularly. I've taken up American bowling. You knock skittles down. It is quite a good game and it finds us a little extra to do. We have entered a team in the League. My room-mate left last week, so at the moment I have a room to myself, but I'm wondering what sort of a chap I'll get next. I can get on alright with most people, but there are one or two exceptions to the rule. I've very little to tell you because nothing ever happens in the Arctic wastes."
LAC Robert Bridge (late of Sollom, then went to Banbury) writes from KANKESANTURAI, Ceylon. "A few lines to wish you, and all the people of Sollom and Tarleton, a very Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year. This Christmas will be the third one I have spent out here, and the fourth one I have spent away from home. Thank you for giving me the address of the Rev. George Arndt in Colombo; I haven't been able to get down there yet. Give my very best wishes to my nephew John Smith, my brother Hughie, Bill Lowe, Bob Hull, and all the others." Sgt. Ralph Whitehead writes from CMF "I am still in the Rome area, and my brother Harry is stationed at Bari. This should be the seventh, and the last Christmas that I have to spend in the Army. I hope to be on my way home early in the New Year for demob in 25 Group. The weather is much colder now, but it is none the worse for that, because the air is much fresher." Sgt.Jim Burns writes from BAOR "You will see that I have moved up a peg and have been promoted to the rank of Sergeant. I am now in the Guards Armoured Division, the same Division as my brother George, but I am still a long way from him. I am at a place called PROZ, near Cologne. I am Group 26 and I hope to be demobbed by Feb.15th (note I say 'I hope'). I had my new Officer and the L/Sgt. on about the Brain Twisters in the NL I received this week. They had never seen anything like it. Ask my brother George (via the NL) if he comes across 84 in the same Div as he is in, I will be there. My kind regards to brothers Dick, Tom, George and Fred, and all the boys and girls."
Gunner Harry Harrison writes from Yeovil, Somerset, "I am looking forward to my last Christmas in the Army. We are having six days' leave, or rather an extended week-end, and when I return from that leave I shall only have three weeks to put in before being demobbed. I am very glad to think that I shall be with my brother-in-law Dick over Christmas as it is almost four years since I last saw him. Remember me to Billy and all cousins and tell them I wish them all a very merry Christmas, and may the New Year bring them home too." Pte.Arnold Bailey writes from Luton, "I shall be coming home for eight days' leave on Jan.2nd. Unluckily I shall just miss spending Christmas at home. We went on Church Parade last Sunday and the Chaplain invited all the lads down to his house. I have called twice on Ernie Ball's wife but, unluckily, she was out on both occasions, so I was very disappointed. After my leave I go to another Unit to finish my Course, which is about ten weeks, and after that I shall be 'posted', but where to of course I do not know yet."
LAC Carl Trowbridge (married Edith Hanson) writes from Credenhill, Hereford, "I thought, perhaps,that you would like to hear from me. I just live for news from home - meaning, of course, Tarleton. I may be home for the week-end and I would like to come and see you again."
Dvr.Robert Iddon (Bob, Bretherton, used to work for Jack Mee), writes from Japan, "I hope you received the letter I sent from Port Said. We had a nice trip from Port Said to Bombay, very interesting passing through the Suez. We went to the RA Depot at Deolali - not a very good camp and I was glad to leave it. I think we shall be OK in Japan; I am with my three pals who were in my Regt. in Italy. There is plenty of fruit in India and I had about 20 bananas the first day I arrived. I found two NLs waiting for me at Bombay. Remember me to all my friends from Tarleton and Bretherton in the NL." Gdsn. Aubrey Smith writes from Victoria Barracks, Windsor, "The chap has been demobbed who was in my room here when you came to see me. I am still very busy with the Transport and I am afraid that as Christmas draws nearer the situation will not go any easier, as the majority of the chaps are still working for the GPO in London. Christmas leave is reduced to 5 per cent of the Battalion, and this goes to men with the longest service overseas, and as I have only got two years overseas I am not in the running. It's a poor do, but I guess it's useless worrying."

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