The son of Henry Ogle Bell-Irving of Vancouver, British Columbia, Alan Duncan Bell-Irving transferred to the Royal Flying Corps from the Gordon Highlanders. While serving as an observer with 7 Squadron in 1915, he was shot down in September and was wounded in action in December. He recovered and received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2664 on a Maurice Farman biplane at military school, Farnborough on 31 March 1916. Posted to 60 Squadron in May 1916, he was shot down for the second time on 21 October. On 9 November 1916, he was wounded again when he was shot down for the third and final time by Otto Höhne. Bell-Irving served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II and attained the rank of Air Commodore.
Appears in some sources as Allan Duncan Bell-Irving.
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
Military Cross (MC)
2nd Lt. (temp. Lt.) Alan Duncan Bell-Irving, Gord. Highrs., Spec. Res. and R.F.C.
For gallantry and skill in attacking a hostile balloon at 1,000 feet under heavy fire and bringing it down in flames. On a previous occasion he brought down a hostile machine.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 20 October 1916 (29793/10175)
Military Cross (MC) Bar
2nd Lt. (temp. Lt.) Alan Duncan Bell-Irving, M.C., Gord. Highrs., S.R. and R.F.C.
For conspicuous gallantry in action. He displayed great courage and skill when escorting a bombing raid. He engaged several enemy machines and drove them off. Afterwards, although his own machine was damaged, he continued to fight against superior numbers of the enemy.
(The Military Cross was awarded in the London Gazette dated 20th Oct. 1916.)
Supplement to the London Gazette, 10 January 1917 (29898/465)