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UNION JACK - Third African Edition, B.N.A.F.
November 25th 1943

BRITISH ARMY NEWSPAPER UNIT
Editor-in-chief - Major Hugh Cudlipp.
Admin Officer - Capt. Robert Peel.
Correspondence to:- H.Q. British Army Newspaper Unit, B.N.A.F.
UNION JACK THIRD AFRICAN EDITION: All letters concerning this edition to; Capt. A.J. Crump, Editor. UNION JACK (THIRD AFRICAN EDITION) B.N.A.F.

CORNER-STONE
Every day, in “CORNER-STONE,” you will find a short piece of unusual quality and interest. A different writer will occupy CORNER-STONE each issue. You are invited to send your contribution to “CORNER-STONE.” Third African Edition, B.N.A.F.

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It was just a small Parish magazine issued by a local vicar for the lads and lasses who had gone out as Service men and women into the wide world.
I found it in a N.A.F.F.I. In Italy. Its date was August 12, and it came from Tarleton in Lancashire.
It was cyclostyled, and was headed with a picture of the Pennine Church: It was addressed, “My dear boys and girls.”
I thought this four-sheet paper was of world-wide interest.
The rector apologised. He said he had had to postpone his double summer issue “containing a few verses composed by some of you,” because of other work. He was busy, he said, with the British Legion Carnival.
“Things are going well for the Allies” he wrote. “You are doing your part exceedingly well.”
And as I read his sheet I saw Northern England in front of me. I saw the small determined towns between Lancashire and Yorkshire, the cloth-capped men, the debonair girls with lively walk, the lads in the stone-built schools waiting only to get out of school.
“Rosie Twist,” I read “had been chosen for our Village Queen, but she was sent to the W.R.N.S. and almost immediately was sent abroad. We chose her first Lady-in-Waiting, Brenda Ward, and crowned her.”
“Wet all afternoon” said the Rector’s Weekly News, “but the Queen was successfully crowned between the showers.”
“Mrs. John Grayson has presented her husband with a son.”
Ruth Sutton, Mayo Cottages, Ralph’s Wife’s Lane, Banks, was married on Saturday, in the Methodist Chapel, Banks, to John Taylor, of Moss Lane, who is in the Navy.”
A reader writes from India to the rector to say “I have just met Norah Pearson, Eric Hind and Lewis Clark. Four Tarletonians together so far from the village! Truly an occasion of note.”
“I recently saw a flying fish actually fly on to the forecastle,” says a Naval lad from Hesketh Bank, neighbouring parish to Tarleton. !I had it for breakfast,” he adds, “and I can assure you that it was very welcome after weeks of tinned food.”
The four closely typed pages carried me from Italy to our homeland. I thought that one day such extracts would go into a book of our times, for from such stories are the bricks of literature made.
The small chit-chat, the letters from home, the letters to home; the rector’s weekly news- letter telling of the meeting of four villagers in India - these will one day make the background of a book. It will be a book in which the fall of Mussolini is merely an incident in a conversation, a conversation which will tell “Bob Harrison, who comes from Wigan and stays for his holidays at Cockson’s Basket Shop, was married last Saturday.”
“Congratulations to all who have been promoted and married,” writes one reader, and throughout the news is the constant mention of marriages and births, the unchanging life of the village.
I read every word of the rector’s letter. I forgot the N.A.A.F.I. I forgot Italy. I remembered the villages of Briton and felt proud of the villages from which we all sprang.

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