3 March 1873|
Dalkey, Dublin, Ireland
|Died||16 August 1917
|Years of service||1915-1917|
|Unit||8th Royal Irish Fusiliers|
World War I
Doyle was born in Dalkey, Ireland and the youngest of seven children of Hugh and Christine Doyle (née Byrne). He was educated at Ratcliffe College, Leicester. After reading St. Alphonsus’ book Instructions and Consideration on the Religious State he was inspired to enter the priesthood and was an ordained Jesuit priest in 1907. He served for five years on the mission staff.
Service World War I
Doyle served in the Army Chaplains' Department of the British Army during World War I, appointed as a chaplain to 48 Brigade of the 16th Irish Division. During the Battle of Loos Doyle was caught in a German gas attack and for his conduct was mentioned in dispatches. A recommendation for a Military Cross was rejected as "he had not been long enough at the front". Doyle was presented with the parchment of merit of the 49th (Irish) Brigade instead. He was killed in the Battle of Langemarck, on 16 August 1917.
A stained glass window dedicated to his memory is present in St Finnian's Church, Dromin, Co Louth Ireland.
Doyle was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery during the assault on the village of Ginchy. He was recommended for a posthumous Victoria Cross and Distinguished Service Order but was awarded neither. Fr Doyle's body was never recovered but he is commemorated at Tyne Cot Memorial.
- Retreats for working men: why not in Ireland? (1909)
- Vocations (1913)
- Shall I be a priest? (1915)
- Unknown. "Father William Doyle". Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- Murphy, David. "Doyle, William Joseph Gabriel". Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge University Press.
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- Kenny, Mary (18 May 2014). "How Irish priests brought comfort to the battlefield". Irish Independent. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- McCarrick, Susan. "Memorial for Rev W Doyle SJ". Europeana 1914-1918. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
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- Smyth, John (Sir), In this sign conquer (1968)
- McRedmond Louis, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991)
- Johnstone, Tom and Hagerty, James, The cross on the sword: catholic chaplains in the forces (1996)
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