b. 04/06/1891 Bournemouth, Dorset. d. 07/03/1915 Neuve Chapelle, France.
Cecil Reginald Noble (1891-1915) was born at 18 Tower Road, Boscombe, Bournemouth, Hampshire on 4th June 1891. He was actually known by the name Tom or Tommy rather than Cecil. His father was Frederick Leopold Noble, a painter and decorator. His mother was Hannah nee Smith. They were married in 1888 in Christchurch, Hampshire. Tommy had two brothers, both of whom died in infancy, and a sister. He was educated at St Clement’s School and the Art and Technical School in Bournemouth, following which he was employed as a decorator. As a child, he lived on Capstone Road, Bournemouth, where another future VC lived in Frederick Riggs.
Tommy enlisted on 31st March 1910 and joined at Winchester the following day, claiming previous service with 6th Hampshire Battery RFA. He gave his father’s name as Alexander (deceased) and his mother as his next of kin. Tommy joined the 1st Battalion in Dublin on 11th August 1910. In February 1911 he was in disciplinary trouble, using obscene language to a NCO and was detained for seven days. He was posted to the 2nd Battalion in India on 10th November. He gained the 3rd Class Certificate of Education on 22nd March 1913 and became a Pioneer on 9th September.
The Battalion sailed from Bombay on 20th September 1914, landed at Liverpool on 22nd October and moved to Hursley Park, Winchester where it joined 25th Brigade, 8th Division. Tommy landed at Le Havre, France with C Company on 7th November. He was appointed Unpaid Acting Corporal on 23rd November.
On 12th March 1915 at Neuve Chapelle, France, when the advance of the battalion was impeded by wire entanglements and by very severe machine-gun fire, Corporal Noble and another man (Harry Daniels) voluntarily rushed in front and succeeded in cutting the wires. They were both wounded, and Corporal Noble later died of his injuries. Noble was buried in Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery. His VC was sent to his mother by post on 12th June 1915 and was presented to her formally by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 29th November 1916. In addition to his VC, he was awarded the 1914 Star with Mons clasp, British War Medal 1914-20 and Victory Medal 1914-19. His medals are held privately.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NOT PUBLICLY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: LOUNGUENESSE SOUVENIR CEMETERY, FRANCE.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
PLOT I, ROW A, GRAVE 57
His memorial paving stone in Bournemouth
St Peter's Church, Bournemouth
175 Capstone Road, Bournemouth
Rifle Brigade Memorial, Winchester
Noble Close, Bournemouth
Noble VC 's mother collecting his VC