Martin Doyle

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Martin Doyle
Victoria Cross Medal without Bar.png
Born 25 October 1891
New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland
Died 20 November 1940 (aged 49)
Dublin, Ireland
Buried at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin
Allegiance  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Republic of Ireland Ireland
Service/branch British Army
Irish Republican Army
National Army
Defence Forces
Reserve Defence Forces
Rank Company Sergeant Major
Unit Royal Munster Fusiliers
Battles/wars World War I
Irish War of Independence
Irish Civil War
Awards Victoria Cross
Military Medal

Martin Doyle VC, MM (25 October 1891 – 20 November 1940) was a British soldier during the First World War, and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

After the war he joined the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence, served with the National Army during the Irish Civil War, in the Defence Forces until 1937 and Reserve Defence Forces until 1939.

World War I[edit]

Doyle was born in New Ross, County Wexford on 25 October 1891. After service with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers he joined The Royal Munster Fusiliers and was awarded the Military Medal[1]

In September 1918 as a company sergeant-major in the 1st Battalion, The Royal Munster Fusiliers, 16th (Irish) Division during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC:

For most conspicuous bravery on the 2nd September, 1918, near Riencourt, when as Acting Company Serjeant-Major, command of the company devolved upon him consequent on officer casualties.

Observing that some of our men were surrounded by the enemy, he led a party to their assistance, and by skill and leadership worked his way along the trenches, killed several of the enemy and extricated the party, carrying back, under heavy fire, a wounded officer to a place of safety. Later, seeing a Tank in difficulties, he rushed forward under intense fire, routed the enemy who were attempting to get into it, and prevented the advance of another enemy party collecting for a further attack on the Tank. An enemy machine gun now opened on the Tank at close range, rendering it impossible to get the wounded away, whereupon C.S.M. Doyle, with great gallantry, rushed forward, and, single-handed, silenced the machine gun, capturing it with three prisoners. He then carried a wounded man to safety under very heavy fire.

Later in the day, when the enemy counterattacked his position, he showed great power of command, driving back the enemy and capturing many prisoners. Throughout the whole of these operations C.S.M. Doyle set the very highest example to all ranks by his courage and total disregard of danger.[2]

IRA service[edit]

In 1920, Doyle joined the Irish Republican Army and fought in the Irish War of Independence. He served with the pro-treaty National Army in the Irish Civil War, and retired in 1937. He died in Dublin in 1940 from poliomyelitis, aged 49, and is buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery.[3][4]



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