Bell-Irving River

Feature Type:River - Watercourse of variable size, which has tributaries and flows into a body of water or a larger watercourse.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Flows SE into Nass River above Meziadin Lake, Cassiar Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 56°09'51''N, 129°01'42''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 104A/3
Related Maps: 104A/11
104A/12
104A/13
104A/3
104A/6
104H/4

Origin Notes and History:

"Bell-Irving River (not North Fork Nass River)" adopted in the 15th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1917, as labelled on BC Lands' map 1H, 1917.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Also identified as "West Fork Nass River" on early map(s) (title/date not cited)

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Name change, from North Fork Nass River, suggested by G.H. Dawson, Surveyor General of British Columbia, after Lieutenant Duncan Peter Bell-Irving, BCLS (1888-1915) of Vancouver, who was killed in action in Belgium in the early stages of the war. Bell-Irving had been sent by the provincial government to survey & explore the upper part of the Nass River, including the north fork, and when the war broke out was so-engaged, and entirely out of reach of all outside communication. About a month after the war started, his father in Vancouver received a telegram from him, sent from a cabin on the Yukon Telegraph line: "Hear there is a war - who is fighting who?" to which a reply was sent. His father received a second telegram: "Have telegraphed Ottawa offering services; see Dawson and arrange leave." (anectode written in 1915 by Fleet Robertson, BC Representative to the Geographic Board of Canada). Bell-Irving reached France as a Lieutenant with the Canadian Engineers in January 1915. On February 25, while in charge of a working party, he was shot by a sniper and died the same night. He was the first BC Land Surveyor and the first officer from British Columbia (the first officer from Canada ?) to be killed in the war (excerpt from BCLS Roll of Honour 1914-1918, published by the Corporation of Land Surveyors of the Province of British Columbia, also photograph)

Source: included with note

Named to remember Canadian Army Lieutenant Duncan Peter Bell-Irving, BCLS, who was serving with the 2nd Field Company, Canadian Engineers, in Belgium, when he was killed in action 26 February 1915. Buried adjacent to a battlefield at Armentieres, then re-interred after the Armistice at Strand Military Cemetery, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium, grave X. H. 9.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office