Lieutenant Arthur Penrhyn Noyce


Arthur Penrhyn Noyce was born in South Africa on 21 December 1888. He was educated at the Dioscean College, Capetown.

Before the war he had worked as a farmer and a mining engineer, as well as in the Native Affairs Department, Transvaal. He also served in the South African Light Horse and Eastern Mounted Rifles, Transvaal. He lived at Bell Mine, Que-Que, Rhodesia.

On 23 October 1914 he joined the 1st Rhodesian Regiment (No.54) and served in operations in the South African Rebellion and in German South-West Africa. The regiment was disbanded at the end of the campaign – Noyce had risen to the rank of Transport Sergeant.

He then travelled to England and on 31 October 1915 applied for a commission in the North Irish Horse. He gave his UK address as Thurloe, Dumbarton, Scotland.

Noyce was made a 2nd lieutenant on 23 November and posted to the North Irish Horse reserve depot at Antrim.

He embarked for France on 29 July 1916 and joined the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment in the field at Pas. Soon after he applied for a transfer to the Royal Flying Corps. He was sent for training but did not make the grade, a report stating that he was:

Unlikely to become efficient in duties as Observer – This is not an adverse report."

Noyce rejoined the North Irish Horse on 25 February 1917. On 1 July he was promoted to lieutenant and from 15 to 30 October attended a course of instruction at the GHQ Small Arms School.

During December 1917 and January 1918 the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment Hotchkiss gun teams were used in defence of the Cambrai front near Hermies. The regimental war diary notes on 30 January:

Lieut A.P. Noyce relieved Lieut Hodson i/c of Hotchkiss Guns.

In February-March 1918 the 1st North Irish Horse was dismounted and converted to a corps cyclist regiment. This left around a quarter of the officers and men of the regiment surplus to requirements. Between 1 and 13 March nine officers and 66 other ranks left the regiment, all but three of the latter reporting for duty at the Machine Gun Base Depot at Camiers. However following heavy losses in the German offensive at the end of March, most were attached as reinforcements to regular cavalry units of the 1st Cavalry Division. The war diary of the 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars noted on 3 April that two officers and 30 other ranks from the North Irish Horse joined the regiment, one of those being Lieutenant Noyce.

On 12 July 1919 Noyce was demobilised, and on 1 April 1920 relinquished his commission in the North Irish Horse.

After the war he returned to South Africa. His address in 1925 was Fred Mine, Filabusi, South Rhodesia. He died in 1930.