These medals were awarded to Major Malcolm McBean Bell-Irving of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC). The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) was awarded to officers for meritorious or distinguished service in wartime. Bell-Irving was the first Canadian flier in action. He became the first Canadian member of the RFC to receive the DSO in December 1915 for successfully engaging three enemy aircraft and escaping. In July 1916, he was awarded the Military Cross while on a reconnaissance mission. Although badly wounded in the head by anti-aircraft fire, Bell-Irving completed his mission and went on to land his plane and deliver his photos. Bell-Irving was one of six brothers to serve during the war, three of whom served in the RFC.
Tilston Memorial Collection of Canadian Military Medals