31 Colchester 2.1.41
GNR. S.P.NOEL 1088686
"C"BTY.- "E" TROOP
131 FIELD REGT. R.A.
C/O G.P.O.COLCHESTER ESSEX
Your parcel was a god send you see we are on a three days shoot, we sleep any where and the food, well it is terrible, we have bread and meat for all meals with tea, the cold is awful. One cannot sleep at night because of the cold, we sleep in lorries, barns to, shall I be glad when these three days are over. The snow has been very heavy, but the wind beats the lot, it cuts right through you. The idea of the shoot is that the Gerries have landed at a place called West Mercea in Essex. We are assisting the infantry and tank corp. by shelling the Gerries. We are on the move all day long this place W. Mercea is a terribly open place, it is a sort of an island with a bridge connecting the mainland, we had a laugh our crew was pushing the gun into action the ground was thick with snow and we all slipped over together, it was very funny it stop us using bad words about the weather. Thank little Ellen for the fags it was very kind of her. By the way darling did my father get you any thing for Christmas from me, I asked him to do, any rate I have written to him about it, do not be afraid of telling him what you want.
Just back from shoot, am I glad. The snow. The cold was terrible we had the snow with us all the time. Your parcel was my real meal of food, the muck they dished up was indescribable, I guess they are toughing us up for the real thing, if only we had, had some good food that cold would not have been so terrible, heck it was a real nightmare. I hope to god I never have to go through that again, but still now I have warmed up a bit and had some hot food I guess I am feeling alright, it is funny how the human body soon revives. Well darling, I guess you are having a tough time getting use to this cold weather on the bicycle. I guess you find that your arms & hands become very cold, your legs should not worry you because they are on the move all the time while you are cycling. How have you got on with all the snow? I hope you have not fallen over at all, although I think you will be lucky if you do not because it is very slippery. My Sarg. is trying to get me to become a driver for good but I cannot make up my mine. You see it is one of those jobs where they can and do sometimes call you out at all times in the middle of the night and so forth. This part does not attract me much or though one has not the officers standing over them all the time. I guess I shall make my mind up as to which job I have I am still worrying them about the nacy if I succeed it will take a long time for them to make up there mind as to what to do with me.
Well cherrio for the present
P.S. I hear that I may get a weeks leave in Feb. some time.
Have enclosed our badge it is a bomb and worn in the hat, the R.A. usually wear the gun badge, but our mob is different as one soon finds out, after being in them for a little while.