WOII Noel Ross 

15th November 1920 - 25th April 2012


[ Noel Ross ]


Noel was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire. 15th November 1920
Occupation prior to 1937 - Labourer.
Noel joined the
South Staffordshire Regiment of the British Army on 7th October 1937 and was finally discharged on 30 September 1974. Army No.4915089. (He joined as many young men of the day did by telling the recruiting officers that he was older than he really was.) He joined the Army Air Corps as a parachutist and transferred to the Parachute Regiment on it's formation in 1941. During his service he served in:-
Italy, Africa, France, Aden, Palestine & Arabian Peninsula, Hargeisa in Somalia, Wuppertal Germany, Nee Soon FETC Singapore, Northern Ireland and Taunton his final posting.
Ranks during service:
Private 7/10/37 - 23/6/44
Lance Corporal 24/6/44 - 18/6/46
Corporal 15/7/46 - 16/8/46
Sergeant 17/8/46 - 09/8/52
Staff Sergeant 10/8/52 - 23/11/52
Colour Sergeant (CQMS) 24/11/52 - 15/11/70

WOII 16/11/70 - 30/09/74


He was awarded the following decorations:

Military Medal (MM) for gallantry and distinguished service in the field,
British Empire Medal for service in the Far East,
1939-1945 Star, 
Africa Star with a mention in dispatches, 
France & Germany Star , 
Italy Star,
General Defence Medal,
1939-1945 War Medal,
GSM for Northern Ireland and Malay Peninsula 1964-66, 1951-54
GSM Clasps for Canal Zone, Arabian Peninsula 1957-6, Cyprus 1955-59, Palestine 1945-1948, Palestine ,
Long Service and Good Conduct medal and bar,
Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM)

NB. During his service in British Somalia between 1950-1958 he was one of the founder members of the Lodge at Hargeisa.

 


This from Jon Ross (Noel's Son) and Niall Cherry
Secretary of Arnhem 1944 Fellowship

Noel Rosenberg was born on 15/11/1920 in Darnford near Lichfield in Staffordshire and was one of five children. One of his elder brothers, Sam, had joined the South Staffordshire Regiment and in 1937 Noel followed in his footsteps in spite of the fact he was only 5 foot 2 inches tall. After passing out from basic training Noel was sent to India in 1938 and later to Palestine where he was when the war broke out in 1939. In the early part of the conflict Noel saw action against both the Italians and Germans in Libya. It was whilst escorting Italian prisoners of war to Bombay that he heard of a request for volunteers for specialist units. Noel along with friends, put his name down on a list and was given a transfer to the parachute battalion on its formation in India where he later managed to obtain a transfer to the 151 Parachute Battalion in November 1941 just after his 21st birthday. The 151 later became the 156 Battalion when it transferred to the 4th Parachute Brigade.

By September 1944 Noel was a Lance Corporal in 10 Platoon of C Company. Landing on Ginkel Heath on 18/08/1944 Noel took part in the early actions against the German blocking line on the Dreijenseweg before distinguishing himself in the hollow on 20/09/1944 when his company commander, Major Powell, was ordered to select one man to stay behind to provide covering fire for the general withdrawal towards Oosterbeek. Noel was the man selected and given a Bren with 12 full magazines and 6 Mills and 6 phosphorous grenades. Giving covering fire the remnants of the 156 Battalion made it back to friendly territory to be joined later by Noel who managed to evade the Germans. 
He later distinguished himself in the defence of the Oosterbeek perimeter and was one of the few members of the Battalion to cross the river during Operation Berlin. 
He was recommended for a Distinguished Conduct medal but this was downgraded to a Military Medal and his citation is as follows:
During the entire action at Arnhem this NCO was an example to all around him for his exhibition of coolness and courage under fire. On numerous occasions he volunteered to carry messages under fire; he personally killed a large number of the enemy at different times and whenever circumstances were serious he would be heard encouraging and steadying those around him. He was particularly conspicuous on the 20th September 1944 when the remnants of the Brigade were surrounded by the enemy in a hollow in the woods, standing up in full view of the enemy in the face of intense fire to direct the fire of other men on the enemy positions. 

At Arnhem Noel received a field promotion to Sergeant, conferred by Major Powell and he remained in the Army after the war reaching the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2. Noel was posted back to Palestine after the war had finished and remained there until their independence. He then later was posted to Egypt in 1951-1954, Aldershot Parachute Regiment Depot 1954- 1958, British protectorate of Somalia 1958-1960, Wuppertal in Germany 1961- 1964, Far East Training Centre Nee soon in Singapore 1964- 1967, The HQ Berlin 1967-1970 and lastly to Taunton HQ South West District 1970-1974 from where he retired from the army on 30th September 1974 . He settled in the Aldershot area and was the Army families housing warden/welfare officer until his permanent retirement in 1996. Noel married Barbara in May 1951 and has two sons. He was a staunch supporter of the 151/156 Parachute Battalion Association and sadly passed away on 25/04/2012. After WW2 he changed his name to Ross.

 


Roll of Honour