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
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.
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
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
“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.
the "Rector's Weekly" Newsletter