The son of Henry Melville and Margaret (Muter) Napier, Ian Patrick Robert Napier attended Eton before joining the army. With the 9th (The Dumbartonshire) Battalion of Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Lieutenant Napier received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 3269 on a B.E.2c biplane at Military School, Hounslow Heath on 18 July 1916. Seconded to the Royal Flying Corps on 4 August 1916, he was posted to 40 Squadron. He scored 12 victories flying Nieuport scouts and the S.E.5a and served as a liaison officer with the French army. After the war he entered the family shipbuilding business.
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificates, 1910-1950
British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
Military Cross (MC)
Capt. Ian Patrick Robert Napier, Arg. & Suth'd Highrs. and R.A.F.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This officer has carried out many reconnaissances, and flying at low altitudes has engaged massed enemy troops with bombs and machine-gun fire, inflicting heavy casualties. He has brought down seven enemy machines.