Nicknamed ‘Bungo’ by his elder brother, Noel’s most mischevious childhood prank was to put the cat into the toilet. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a B.A. in Politics in 1905.
Awarded the Sword of Honour for excellence in military training, Noel enlisted into the Cameron Highlanders, but later transferred to the Royal Munster Fusiliers, serving in India until 1913.
One night in 1917, Noel took shelter in a farmhouse and found a Sacred Heart medal on a pillow. He pinned the medal to his shirt, fell asleep and awoke to find himself thrown clear of the farmhouse by a German shell. His fellow officers were killed.
During World War II, Noel was posted to Norway, Finland and Spain as Military Attaché. In Denmark, his efforts to assist many Jews to escape earned him a place on a Nazi blacklist. Taken prisoner, Noel was almost shot. His children also had a miraculous escape due to a rare Gestapo error.
Retiring from the British diplomatic service in 1954, he became a Barrister at King’s Inn, London. He published several novels and over fifty short stories.
Noel’s many awards include the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and the French Légion d’honneur.