The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Frank Richard
- Regimental #:
- ‘B’ Company, No 7 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Perth, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Richard William Noble
- Mothers's Name:
- Kathleen May Noble
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 19, Age 25.
- Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
- 'E' Force Borneo
- 1/8831 & 1843
- Cause of Death:
- Place of Death:
- Sandakan No1 Camp
- Date of Death:
Photo taken with nephew, day 2/4th absconded from ‘Aquitania’ at Fremantle. Frank’s last day in Australia.
He was however, successful in reboarding his ship prior to ‘Aquitainia’s’ departure 16 Feb 1942 and rejoined 7 Platoon, ‘B’Coy.
Noble had enlisted AIF 28 Nov 1940 and later joined 2/4 MGB training as a Rangetaker.
WA. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of WX9413 Private Frank Richard Noble, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion, Australian Infantry. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of E Force. The 500 Australian and 500 British POW’s who made up E Force, left Changi on 28 March 1943, on board the S.S. DeKlerk arriving at Berhala Island (adjacent to Sandakan Harbour) on 15 April 1943. The POW’s were held there until 5 June, when they were taken by barge to Sandakan. The next day they were transferred to the 8 Mile Camp, which was about half a mile from the B Force compound. Private Noble, aged 25, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 26 May 1945. He was the son of Richard and Kathleen May Noble, of Perth, WA. He is commemorated on the Labuan Memorial Panel 19. (Photograph copied from AWM232, items 4 and 5. Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)
Hale School Memorial
Plaque No 122:
Frank Richard Noble
Entered Hale School 1934
Frank entered Hale School in 1934 from Crawley.
After the outbreak of the war he joined the 2/4th Machine-Gun Battalion in November 1940 and after training at Northam was sent with his unit to Adelaide and then to Darwin. The battalion eventually reached Singapore on 24 January 1942, as the Allied forces were rapidly retreating before the Japanese advance. Singapore was surrendered by the Allies several weeks later.
After some months in Changi, he was taken to North Borneo as a member of the “E” Force prisoner-of-war labour contingent working around Sandakan.
As the war drew to a close the Japanese began a series of force-marches from Sandakan to Ranau. Prisoners, suffering from disease and malnutrition, had to walk 200 kilometres through inhospitable, tropical terrain across the mountains to Ranau. Only six men, of the 2,500 prisoners who were forced to participate, lived to tell the tale. One of those who perished was Frank Noble.
He died on 24 May 1945. He was 24 years of age.
Today the Frank Noble Systems Workshop, part of the Hale School Peter Wright Technology Centre at Hale School, has been dedicated to the memory of Frank by his family.
NOBLE, Private, FRANK RICHARD, WX9413, A.I.F. 2/4 M.G Bn., Australian Infantry. 26 May 1945. Age 25. Son of Richard and Kathleen May Noble, of Perth, Western Australia. Panel 19.
Labuan Memorial, Malaysia.
Kings Park Honour Avenue.
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Sandakan - Borneo ***
- Lintang Officers Camp, Kuching - Sarawak