Corporal Cecil Reginald Noble VC - Rifle Brigade

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    I can't seem to find too much information on this brave soldier .... !

    Corporal Cecil Reginald Noble .... Birth - Jun. 4 1891 .... Death - Mar. 13, 1915

    WWI recipient of the Victoria Cross, the United Kingdom’s highest award for valor. Corporal, "C" Company, 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own). Native of Bournemouth, Dorset.

    Noble was awarded his V.C. (along with CSM Harry Daniels) for action at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, March 12, 1915. From Noble’s citation: "For most conspicuous bravery on 12th March, 1915, at Neuve Chapelle, when their battalion was impeded in the advance to attack by wire entanglements, and subjected to a very severe machine-gun fire, these two men voluntarily rushed in front and succeeded in cutting the wires." Noble was wounded in the action and died at a Casualty Clearing Station at Longuenesse, France.

    Burial - Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery St. Omer Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
    Plot: I.A.57.
  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    In Memory of

    V C

    3697, "C" Coy. 2nd Bn., Rifle Brigade
    who died age 23
    on 13 March 1915
    Son of Hannah Noble, of "Ferndean," 172, Capstone Rd., Bournemouth, and the late Frederick Leopold Noble.

    Remembered with honour
  3. Andy Pay

    Andy Pay Member

    Cecil Reginald Noble, #3697, 2nd Rifle Brigade.

    Harry Daniels and Cecil Noble were close friends in the 2nd Rifle Brigade. They both volunteered, when the battalion got held up at Neuve Chapelle to go forward and cut the wire holding up the battalion.

    The VC citation was mentioned in Army Order 167 of 1915.

    He originally served with the 1st RB after his training and was posted the the 1st RB in Dublin on 11/10/10 having joined up on 31/3/10. He was later posted to the 2nd RB on 10/11/11 and went overseas with them joining the BEF with his battalion on 4/11/14 and was appointed Acting Corporal on the 23/11/14.

    I have a lot more on him at home if you want it, however he was a decorator when he attested for the Rifle Brigade.

  4. Andy Pay

    Andy Pay Member

    I see that you have a thread on Daniels as well. I will place the bits and pieces I have on both on here but place the personal details of Daniels in his thread.

    Acting Corporal Noble was born at Bournemouth on 4th June 1891, but so disliked his Christian name, Cecil, that when he enlisted in The Rifle Brigade in 1910, he used his second name, Reginald. To compound the complexity. his family called him Tommy.

    After successfully participating with the Battalion in the capture of Neuve Chapelle, the Company's progress was halted until, on the 12th March, the Battalion was ordered to resume the advance. By then the Germans were repeatedly subjecting the British front line to counter-attack. At 12.30pm A and B Company moved forward to be met by a hail of machine gun fire and were unable to continue. At 5.15pm the Commanding Officer was ordered, against his better judgement, to try again with C and D Company. However their advance was blocked by wire.
    "The wire had to be cut and instead of picking a number of men for the "suicidal task", No. 9665 CSM Harry Daniels asked his friend, No. 3697 A/Cpl Reginald "Tom" Noble to accompany him as he had on many dangerous night patrols in the past. The two friends, now armed with wirecutters, shook hands before setting out. They managed to cover the few yards to the wire unhurt and, lying on their backs, began to cut the lower strands. This done they raised themselves to sever the higher strands and finally to a kneeling position to reach the highest wires. It was then that Daniels was hit in the left thigh and dropped to the ground, after a few minutes he heard Noble gasp. Daniels asked, "What's up Tom" to which Noble replied, "I am hit in the chest, old man. Daniels managed to roll into a shell hole and apply rudimetary first aid to his wound, he remained there for four hours before trying to return to the battalion's trenches after dark when he was seen and picked up by his comrades. The attack meanwhile had been stopped.
    The VC citations for both men were identical. Corporal Noble died on the following day, 13 March 1915, aged 23.

    Daniels went on to become Lieutenant-Colonel H. Daniels VC, MC.


    Attached Files:

  5. Andy Pay

    Andy Pay Member

    I have in my bits and pieces a letter, written by Lt. Charles Pennefather of the 2nd RB addressed to Lt. Chan Hoskyns who had recently left the 2nd Rifle Brigade, describing the battalion's part in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. If you would like I can post this on here for people to read regarding this action.

  6. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Thanks Andy .... I love this stuff !! :)

    The letter would be terrific ...... !

    Annie :)
  7. Andy Pay

    Andy Pay Member

    My Dear Chan,
    So sorry I have not answered your letter before, but since the 10th of March we have been passing through such stirring times that I have only just collected my thoughts.
    Now if you behave yourself, I will give you a long and vivid description of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, since we were the first to boost through the village.
    We left our trenches at Laventie on the 3rd March and went back into billets in the neighbourhood for a week, during this week we had to practice the attack every day. During this time we collected every gun we could find in the neighbourhood, we got 360 ranging from the 13lb. to the 15 inch.
    On the night of the 9th the whole brigade moved up to the trenches and hid behind some parapets which had taken us a fortnight to dig.
    The attack was to start at 7.30 in the morning. So at 6.30 we all had a good swig of rum and at 7.30 our guns started off a most unholy bombardment the Lord ever saw, this lasted for half an hour, it killed about 100 of the Berkshires and about 10 of ours. At 8.5 the guns lifted and off boosted the Berks and the Lincolns who captured the German trenches. Then away went the R.B. and the R.I.R. to capture the village. We simply boosted through the village capturing about 200 Deutchers. Byatt, Verney, Bulkley-Johnson were shot in this part.
    We then arrived at the other side of the village and joined up with the Indians on our right, and out job was finished since we had broken a gap in the line and we could have gone to Berlin at least if there had been anyone behind, but as you know our brilliant staff had two men and a boy behind and also about 20,000 cavalry which they refused to let go bacause they said it was too foggy, all balls because there was no fog. Meanwhile the unfortunate 24th Brigade got held up on our left and were unable to push on, so we remained in our position for the night.
    The next morning the Deutchers had the audacity to attack us, we polished off about 600, so they did not come anymore.
    However we got the order to take the German position at any cost from some bloody sh1t at Boulogne, so went away A & B Coys, a most bloody fire from all corners of the earth broke out, it killed 130 of A and 90 of B, we then decided not to go on.
    Never the less I am damned if another message did not come at 4.30 to take the German position regardless of cost, this time C & D. Meanwhile Brockholes, Pilcher, Gilby, Mason and Harrison had been killed. C were to lead followed closely by D, off went C and they lost 110 men, D were just off headed by Mansel and myself when the Colonel stopped us, Mansel got one in the head here, leaving me in command of D Coy.
    The higher authorities then decided that the attack was nothing else but murder, not a bad thought after seeing most of the R.B. stretched on the floor. That finished the day's fighting.
    During the night we wired and dug like the devil. The next day the Deutchers started to bombard us at 6am and continued till 4.30pm the most bloody experience the Lord ever invented, it polished off about 50 of us and hundreds of people at the back.
    I took a bullet through the hat, which took the hair off my head, I shot the blighter in the stomach.
    That night was a bloody night as there were no stretcher bearers and all the wounded got left. Bridgeman got wounded by a shell in the evening, also Barton was wounded in the head and Carle in the finger.
    The next day was quieter and gradually we quieted down. We stopped for 14 days. Now we have been taken away for a week's rest somewhere near Sailly and we are going into the trenches which the 7th Division had.
    The Canadians are in Estaires, awful drunkards. There are two Territorial Divisions close by too.
    Rawlinson bungled the whole show. Davis was alright. Lowry Cole was very brave and nearly got blown up by a shell.
    Stephens is quite well, Constable is acting Adjutant. Stopford went away as A.D.C. to Robertson before the show, Grey is M.G. officer. Harding has gone to St. Omer to go through the course (M.G.)
    We have 12 new officers and 400 new men. Hoste & Stanhope and Cable, Rodney, Trench, Raikes and six others have come here.
    The battalion lost 6 killed, 6 wounded officers and 400 men. The Berks had only 7 officers left, the R.I.R. had only 4 left, the Northamptons 1 officer and 100 men left. The Scottish Rifles had all their officers killed. We lost 520 officers and 1000 men, hell of a bloody lot.
    The new trench we dug we came across rows and rows of dead, those killed in October.
    I met Baby out here in Estaires (he is on 7th Division staff). This is all the news. Write me and let me know what you are doing.

    Cheer Oh, yours ever,

    Charles P.
  8. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Wow Andy ! ..... that's a gold mine of information ...

    not just the RB but the other regiments too ... thank you so very much ! :)

    Annie :)
  9. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

  10. Andy Pay

    Andy Pay Member

    Hi Annie,
    Yes I have seen it. Murray was kind enough to send me a copy of his relations letter covering the Battle of Aubers Ridge and the 2nd Rifle Brigade some time ago, before he wrote that article on agreement that I would not divulge anything from it until he had wriitten that article. This is the only other ranks account that I know of and is very descriptive, it was addressed to his father as he did not want to worry his mother. It was a veritable gold mine of information and opened up new avenues of research with regard to the 2nd RB at Fromelles.
    Lowry Cole is buried at Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery, Fleurbaix.


    Annie, there is a thread on the *** by myself with pictures of the commemoration service at Fromelles last year where Murray attended and a few other family members of men lost on 9/5/15.
  11. Andy Pay

    Andy Pay Member

    Just got back from a trip to the Somme to look over a certain aspect of the Battle and popped into Longuenese (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery to pay my respects to a few Rifle Brigade men buried there, among them Noble, so thought it would be an idea to place a picture of his headstone here.


    Headstone reads

    "In God's keeping
    We leave thee dear

    Until we meet again"

    Attached Files:

  12. morten

    morten Member

    Many thanks for posting the photo. Regards. Morten

Share This Page