Regimental Commanding Officers - #17

Brigadier Henry Pybus Bell-Irving, OC, DSO, OBE, OBC, ED, CD.

Today’s Loyal Edmonton Regiment traces its lineage back to the formation of the 101st Regiment in 1908.  Over time there have been many changes in name, organization and taskings.  One interesting thread in all this change is who commanded the regiment.  With this article we continue a series looking at those Commanding Officers.  

Henry Pybus Bell-Irving was the twelfth soldier to command The Loyal Edmonton Regiment after its formation in 1920 and the 17th in line since the formation of its predecessor the 101st Regiment (Edmonton Fusiliers) in 1908. He was the seventh commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, The Loyal Edmonton Regiment, Canadian Active Service Force (C.A.S.F.) during the Second World War.

Bell-Irving came to The Loyal Edmonton Regiment from the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada. He had been second-in-command of the Seaforths and had earned a DSO at Agira, Sicily, in July 1943. He assumed command of The Loyal Edmonton Regiment on 6 June 1944, replacing Lt. Col. Coleman. For more on his story read the article in our latest newsletter at the link below.

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This is the thirty-seventh in a series of quarterly newsletters originally recognizing 100th anniversary events of the First World War, with emphasis on Edmonton’s 49th Battalion, and 75th anniversary events of the Second World War, with emphasis on The Edmonton Regiment/The Loyal Edmonton Regiment.  These stories came to an end with our 2019-1 and 2020-3 editions respectively. However, there are still many stories to be told about our regiment, past and present, including our newest series of articles on our regimental commanding officers.  We will also be expanding our focus on the museum itself with articles related to more current events and with stories about some of the interesting artefacts and archival materials in our collection.

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