was born on 28th March 1889 in Harlan, Iowa the youngest of two sons
of Willard Noble and Elsie H. (nee Goddard). The Noble
family originated in 17th Century England. His father was a
Commercial Traveller selling hides.
his mother Elsie Noble
educated at Stanford University from ? to 1913
Above Ralph in
1912 from the San Francisco Call on 15th November 1912
the 1912 Stanford rugby squad with Noble no.19
Above the USA side that played Australia in 1912. Back Row
(L-R) Guerin (Olympic RFC) (not used), Robert
(University of California) (not used), William Norris King (University of
California), Chris Martin Momson (Santa Clara University), Karl Ludwig Schaupp
(Stanford University), Frank Jacob Gard (Stanford University), James Lee Arrell
(Olympic RFC), Warren L. Smith (Stanford University), Chester Arthur Allen
(University of California), Eugene Francis Kern (Stanford University) (not used), Glasscock
(Olympic RFC) (not used), Phillip Frederick Harrigan (Stanford University).
Front Row: Charles Allphin Austin (Olympic RFC), Augustus Mudge Sanborn
(Stanford University), Joseph Louis McKim (University of California), Stirling
Benjamin Peart (University of California), Laird Monterey Morris (University of
California) (Captain), Benjamin Edward Erb (Stanford University), Ralph Matthews
Noble (Stanford University), Louis Cass (Stanford University) (not used) ,
Bertram Risling (Stanford University) (not used).
Above the 1913 Stanford University side. Frank Noble
no.19. 1 Maloney (Trainer), 2 Partridge, 3 Darsie, 4 Burbank (Manager), 5
Smith, 6 Gard. 7 Urban, 8 Corbett, 9 Harrigan, 10 Hall, 11 Presley (Coach), 12
Sanborn, 13 Schaupp, 14 Cass, 15 Kern, 16 Erb, 17 Dingley, 18 Risling, 19 Noble.
his degree in Mathematics from Stanford University in 1912 and became Physical
Director at San Diego High School. Later he joined his father farming.
entered the service on 15th May 1917, at Galesburg, Illinois and was
sent to Fort Sheridan where he was commissioned as a Lieutenant on 1st
three months at Camp Grant he was sent overseas on 26th December
1917. He was with the 342nd Infantry Regiment but after
a further period of instruction he was put on active duty as an aerial observer
with a squadron of the French Air.
Ralph in 1917
Ralph in 1917
Ralph was shot
down and killed flying over enemy lines on 10th May 1918. There was a
report that he was captured and died in a German Red Cross Hospital and there
have been various other dates suggested all of which cannot be verified.
Newspaper reports say he was missing and reported dead by the German Red Cross.
is buried at Plot A Row 29 Grave 13, Somme American Cemetery, Bony, France.
was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with palm, with the following citation
Officer remarkable for his skill, initiative and devotion in the
performance of his duties, humbly demonstrating the superb qualities of his
race. He performed his duties as an observer in an admirable manner manifesting
at all times an ardent desire to use his military training and qualities as a
marksman. Was killed in action May 10th, 1918, in the lines of the
enemy after a desperate battle in which he was outnumbered.
The Ralph M
Noble American Legion Post #285 in Galesburgh was named after him.
Thanks to David DeGrace and the Noble