Noel was educated at St. Francis Wavier's College, where he was distinguished in mathematics and chemistry. After leaving school he qualified in pharmacy, but later decided to take up medicine, and entered Liverpool University. In the course of his medical studies he gained the Kanthack medal in pathology, the senior Lyons-Jones scholarship, and the Derby prize for clinical medicine, and he graduated with honours in 1916. He then held for a short time the posts of house surgeon and house physician at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary and at the Liverpool Maternity Hospital. Noel joined the R.A.M.C., Territorial Force, early in 1917, entering the war in Mesopotamia on 11th November 1917, he served continuously in the east until he died of burns. He was the second son of Dr J H Allan, F.C.S.R. of 47 St. Domingo Grove, Liverpool.