Ronald Maurice NOSWORTHY

Who was Ronald Maurice NOSWORTHY?  The favourite uncle of Moira Joan LOADES (nee COOPER), the boy soldier, the pastoralist or just an everyday country farmer who lie so many others went to war. This portrait of Ron NOSWORTHY is based on the recollections and reflections of Moira LOADES.

Uncle Ron
Ronald Maurice Nosworthy

Born at Lake Cargellico in New South Wales on the 23rd December, 1922, Ron was the youngest of 5 children born to Herbert George NOSWORTHY and Rose Elania Tilbrook COOPER.  There was a heat wave at the time Ron was born, it was so hot that both his sisters had to take turns holding him under a slowly dripping tap to keep him cool[i]. The family had moved to Lake Cargellico around 1916 where Herbert NOSWORTHY took up a land grant[ii]. At the age of 2 Ron returned with his family to Lucindale. In Lucindale his father Herbert worked took over the management of the family property Albynside[iii].

capture

In his early years Ron went to school at Lucindale but he completed his schooling at Goodwood Central School[iv]. During his time at Goodwood he represented South Australia and was the captain of the state schoolboys football team when they played against Tasmania[v]. Ron lived with his Aunt Maggie at Goodwood and during this time that he would collect Moira from the Goodwood Railway station[vi]. Moira was attending Townsend House School for Deaf and Blind Children at Brighton in South Australia. She was a boarder as her parents lived at Lucindale. During the year students from Townsend House could go home for weekend visits. The train trip to Lucindale was too long for a weekend visit so Moira would go and stay with her grandmother’s sister Margaret Ann STAFFORD (nee COOPER) or Aunt Maggie as she was known. When Aunt Maggie couldn’t pick Moira up from the railway station Ron would be sent to collect her. All the students going home would be on the train from Brighton to the city and would watch with excitement to see if Ron was meeting her at the station. When he was there to meet her they would all wave through the window to let him know she was on the train[vii]. On the walk home he would make Moira walk ahead of him. As she couldn’t hear him he would poke her in the back and then signal so that she knew where to go[viii]. Ron like many teenagers, did not want to be seen with a young child aged between 7 and 8[ix].

football

Like many young men in the 1940’s,  Ron enlisted in the armed forces[x]. Australia was at war. Ron saw action in the Middle East, New Guinea and Singapore and was demobbed in 1946[xi]. While he wrote regularly to the family most of his letters would arrive in tatters after the censors had read the letters. Grandma Nosworthy would hold the letter up for everyone to see often it was impossible for anyone to read the writing[xii].  Ron was wounded in action on 30th November 1943, while serving in New Guinea. After a period of convalescents back in Australia he returned to active service[xiii].

enlistment-papers
Ron’s enlistment papers

While he was waiting to be, demobbed Ron stayed with Moira’s family who had moved to Eden Hills. During this time, Moira and her 3 sisters tried to match him up with one of the local girls in the area. Moira doesn’t know if anything came of their suggestions and thought it may have just been a case of the girls being romantic more than Ron looking for a girl[xiv].

army-camp-new-guinea
Australian Army Camp Papua New Guinea

At the end of war Ron returned to Lucindale and farming like all his brothers. He remained a bachelor all life. Moira remembers him being both an avid reader and a heavy smoker[xv].  At the age of 66 Ron died and was buried with his extended family in the cemetery at Lucindale.

[i] Loades, Moira. Interview by author. Digital audio recording. Ashford, Australia, November 5, 2016.

[ii] Loades, Moira. Interview by author. Digital audio recording. Ashford, Australia, November 5, 2016.

[iii] “Passing of Mr H. G. Nosworthy, Lucindale”, The Naracoorte Herald, 29 July 1954: 3

[iv] “Concerning People”, South Eastern Times, 30 July, 1937:3.

[v] South Eastern Times.

[vi] Loades, Moira. Interview by author. Digital audio recording. Ashford, Australia, November 5, 2016

[vii] Loades, Moira. Interview by author. Digital audio recording. Ashford, Australia, November 5, 2016

[viii] Loades, Moira. Interview by author. Digital audio recording. Ashford, Australia, November 5, 2016

[ix] Loades, Moira. Interview by author. Digital audio recording. Ashford, Australia, November 5, 2016

[x] National Archives of Australia, Nosworthy, Ronald Maurice, B883, SX17910

[xi] National Archives

[xii] Loades, Moira. Interview by author. Digital audio recording. Ashford, Australia, November 5, 2016

[xiii] National Archives

[xiv] Loades, Moira. Interview by author. Digital audio recording. Ashford, Australia, November 5, 2016

[xv] Loades, Moira. Interview by author. Digital audio recording. Ashford, Australia, November 5, 2016

Ronald Maurice NOSW

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