Vale Veteran Ronald Horace (Bill) Nobile - SAMVOZA
BA PO/X117716 and SADF 75646870
(1925 - 2022)
Ronald, better known as Bill, joined SAMVOZA on the 10th of January 2022 with a special interest of enjoying Comradeship and assisting other Comrades. He died at the age of almost 97 and he was very special to us all, and he will be remembered most fondly. No doubt his family was so proud of this old soldier, who was one of our last WWII veterans!
He was such a gentleman, and he was always interested in what is happening with the veterans, who he genuinely cared for.
Bill joined Royal Marines with Force Number PO/X117716, and he served from 1942 to 1946 in WW2, earning the 39-45 Burma Star and Def Victory Medal. He served with QM G Combined Ops - Royal Marines + Commandos
He then served with distinction as a Sergeant in the SADF with Force Number 75646870 from 1979 to 1989 and earned his SADF 10 Good Service Medal.
Rest in Peace, Bill and thank you for your service.
Veteran Bill Nobile, probably the last World War Il veteran who resided in the Vaal, died from cancer at the age of 97 in his Vereeniging home on Friday June 3 2022. “For me he was always the soldier, hence his passion for the M.O.T,H organisation, and he soldiered on regardless, right to the end," says his daughter, Ms Romay Brancato.
Bill was born on January 7, 1925, at Kingsdown in the United Kingdom. He was still a schoolboy when the Second World War broke out and experienced the bombing of England in 1940 and 1941. In 1942 he enlisted in the Royal Marines, was accepted and called up. After eight months of being trained as a sailor and soldier, he was put in charge of a landing craft.
In late 1942 he experienced the massive build-up of the bombing of France and Germany and also took part in preparation and training for the D Day operations. Bill was on standby in England on D Day so was not required to go to France. Shortly after D Day he was sent to Chittagong in India from where he took part in the offensive which drove the Japanese from Burma (now Myanmar) in the Far East.
In Burma the Marines carried out major landings on the island of Rameree and Chiduba to drive out the Japanese in early January 1943. Thereafter Bill was involved in a small platoon and in section landings behind the Japanese lines to ambush the retreating Japanese army and to blow up strategic roads and bridges.
It culminated in a major landing by the Marines at Rangoon to wipe out the starving and demoralised remnants of the once proud 135 000-strong Japanese army. Shortly afterwards the Japanese surrendered, and Bill became part of the force occupying Singapore in early September 1945. He spent his time checking the islands near Singapore, of which several had been turned into Prisoner of War (POW) camps. He served as a guard at the war crimes trials of the Japanese accused of brutal treatment of POWs and the civilian population.
After the war Bill trained as a brewer and was recruited by SA Breweries, arriving at the brewery in Pietermaritzburg in March 1949. He was a racing enthusiast in those days and bought a Morgan sports car in which he raced in the 1950 Coronation 100 on the Alexander Park Circuit.
He played sport his whole life and at one stage even played hockey for Northern Rhodesia. While in Pietermaritzburg he met his future wife, Pat Miller. The couple moved to the Vaal Triangle where their four children were born. After being married for 56 years, Pat passed away suddenly in 2006. Bill later married Gloria Edwards, well known in community service circles in Vereeniging. Gloria sadly passed away on January l, 2021.
"My father had a zest for life and was active and energetic until recently when he became ill. He was kindhearted and enjoyed raising funds for the needy. He loved to garden in his spare time, listen to classical music, and read a good book," says Romay was very active in fighting the good cause, and at the ripe old age of 95 even got banned from Facebook for 30 days for speaking up about something he stood for," remembers Romey fondly.
Bill is survived by his four children, Shireen Holtak, Romay Brancato, Robert Nobile, and Gina Coetzee, eight grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
Veteran Bill Nobile was thanked for his served and joined SAMVOZA 10 January 2022.