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Appreciations of Fr Willie Doyle SJ

Original and copies of appreciations of Fr Willie Doyle SJ including letters from General Sir William Bernard Hickie, 16th Division, B.E.F.to Hugh Doyle Esq., Melrose, Dalkey, Dublin (15 December 1917) and to Fr Charles Doyle SJ (14 October 1924); Private M. Murphy, France, (Fr Willie Doyle’s orderly) (22 August 1917).

Hickie, Sir William Bernard, 1865-1950, Major General in the British Army

Article entitled ‘A Chaplain’s Story: Fr. Willie Doyle; A pastor across all divides’

Article entitled ‘A Chaplain’s Story: Fr. Willie Doyle; A pastor across all divides’. Recounts Fr Doyle’s time as an army chaplain in the First World War. Also includes a print-out of pages from a web-site dedicated to Fr Doyle. Accompanied by a note to Fr Fergus O’Donoghue SJ, Province Archivist, explaining their provenance.

Unknown

Article in 'The Commonweal'

Article from The Commonweal entitled ‘Father William Doyle, S.J.’ by Henry Longan Stuart.

Society of Jesus

Booklet entitled “Fr. Willie”

Booklet entitled “Fr. Willie”; part of the Irish Messenger series. Subtitled ‘His world-wide appeal and favours attributed to his intercession’. Contains a short reflection on his life and a list of reports from around the world of how Fr Doyle’s intercession, when invoked, benefited those who sought it.

Irish Messenger Office, 1888-

Box with altar requisites used by Fr Willie Doyle SJ

Box with altar requisites which includes missal stand, missal, altar linen, stole (instead of maniple) burse, kneeler and Á Kempis used by Fr Willie Doyle SJ at the front. With box.

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Certificate given to Fr Doyle on his first leave of absence from the Front

Handwritten copy of a parchment certificate given to Fr Doyle on his first leave of absence from the Front in 1916. Issued by Major General W.B. Hickie, Commander of the 16th Irish Division, commending his ‘gallant conduct and devotion to duty in the field on April 27th & 29th’.

Hickie, Sir William Bernard, 1865-1950, Major General in the British Army

Copies of photographs of Fr Willie Doyle SJ

Copies of photographs of Fr Willie Doyle SJ, collected by his brother Fr Charles Doyle SJ. Includes image of Fr Willie Doyle SJ, taken in Aberdeen, 1908 by MacMahon, portrait photographer.

MacMahon, Vincent, photographer

Fr Willie Doyle SJ

William Joseph Gabriel Doyle was born (1873) at Melrose, Dalkey Avenue, Dalkey, county Dublin. Known as Willie, Billie or Sloper (a comic book hero of the time), he was the youngest of seven children of Hugh Doyle, registrar of the insolvency court, and Christine Doyle (née Byrne). Growing up, Willie was devout, caring and cheerful. Educated at Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire, in 1891 Willie followed his older brother Charles into the Jesuits. After two years as a novice, he taught at Clongowes Wood College, where he produced The Mikado and founded the school magazine, The Clongownian. His Jesuit formation included periods in Belgium and England, and further teaching at Clongowes and Belvedere Colleges. After ordination at Milltown Park on 28th July 1907, Willie began work as an urban missionary and retreat giver in Ireland. His positive attitude made him a great success, and he travelled all around the British Isles. He was also the author of best-selling pamphlets on retreats and vocations.

Volunteering as a military chaplain in First World War, Fr Doyle was sent to France with the Royal Irish Fusiliers in early 1916. Within days of his arrival at the Front, he showed himself outstanding in the work of a chaplain. Lt Col HR Stirke noted that Fr Doyle was ‘one of the finest fellows that I ever met, utterly fearless, always with a cheery word on his lips and ever ready to go out and attend the wounded and the dying under the heaviest fire’. Present at the battles of the Somme and Messines, Fr Doyle was killed during the third battle of Ypres on 16th August 1917, while going to the aid of a wounded man near Frezenberg. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial, Belgium. Fr Doyle was awarded the Military Cross, and he was put forward for the Victoria Cross posthumously but did not receive it. Writing to Willie’s father, Hugh, in December 1917, Major General WB Hickie remarks that: ‘I could not say too much about your son. He was loved and reverenced by us all. His gallantry, self sacrifice and devotion to duty were all so well known and recognized. I think that his was the most wonderful character that I have ever known.’

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letter from Fr John Mulderry

Letter from Fr John Mulderry, Chaplain, 61st General Hospital, Salonica referring to a letter received from [Father Provincial] ‘as
regards your queries I must candidly confess that my evidence (and I told them so in Clonliffe) rests solely an accounts given me by other Chaplains which accounts, rested on rumour...I should have thought the Society would have probed the matter to the bottom’.

Mulderry, John, Roman Catholic priest and chaplain

Letters from Fr Willie Doyle SJ, 1915-1917

  • IE IJA J/2/83
  • File
  • 1 December 1915 - 6 August 1917
  • Part of Irish Jesuits

Holograph letters by Fr Willie Doyle SJ from his time with the 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, 49th Brigade, 16th Division and the 8th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusilier’s: at Whitely Camp, Surrey; Bordon Camp, Hampshire; various locations in France. In the main, the letters are addressed to his father, but also his sister Mai. The letters document his time as a military chaplain, firstly at camp in England while preparing for embarkation and secondly, at the front in France. Some of the letters have been transcribed by Professor Alfred O’ Rahilly in his book - Father William Doyle SJ. (1922) http://www.archive.org/details/fatherwilliamdoy00orahuoft
With envelopes and four undated parts of letters.

Includes notebooks written by Fr Willie Doyle SJ at the front (31 March 1916 - August 1917) with the following titles: ‘Bully Beef’ (20 - 29 December 1916); ‘Pork and Beans’ (16 January - 5 February 1917); ‘Bits and scraps for an old man’s breakfast’ (July 1917)’; ‘The Battle of Ypres’ (9 July - August 1917). Includes opening entry - ‘My dear Father, When I posted my letter to you this morning it occurred to me that perhaps if I kept a kind of diary for the next couple of weeks it might interest you and others, even if I had nothing of very great interest to relate (31 March 1916).

Letters from Mr T. Cain and from Michael Harteny

  • IE IJA J/2/96
  • File
  • 26 October 1945 - 21 March 1946
  • Part of Irish Jesuits

Letters from Mr T. Cain, Headmaster, Coleridge Street School, Hove, England (26 October 1945) and from Michael Harteny (Sergeant), Kilnagrange, Kilmacthomas, County Waterford (12 November 1945) and on behalf of Christopher Flynn, Delgany, County Wicklow (21 March 1946) to Fr Charles Doyle SJ and Professor Alfred O’ Rahilly concerning their recollections of the date of death of Fr Willie Doyle SJ.

Cain, T

Letters from Willie Doyle, 1886-1896

  • IE IJA J/2/80
  • File
  • 30 May 1886 - 23 August 1896
  • Part of Irish Jesuits

Holograph letters and one typewritten letter by Willie Doyle: as a schoolboy in Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire, England to his brother Bob and mother (30 May 1886 - 9 April 1887); as a Jesuit novice at St Stanislaus, Tullabeg, County Offaly to his mother and father, and sisters Mai and Lena (8 August 1891 - 9 July 1892); as a scholastic at Milltown Park, Dublin to his father and brother Bob (31 May - Christmas 1893) and to Brother Cahill on finishing his noviceship (8 June 1893) and at Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare to his mother and father, and brothers Bob and Charles (3 September 1894 - 23 August 1896).

Letters to Alfred O’Rahilly

Letters to Professor Alfred O’Rahilly from various members of the public relating to his book.

O’Rahilly, Alfred, 1884-1969, President of University College Cork

Notes made on Fr Willie Doyle’s early career

Notes made by [Fr Frank Browne SJ] on Fr Doyle’s early career (n.d., 8pp), ‘missionary’ career from 1910 to 1915 (n.d., 17pp) and ‘military career’ (n.d., 11pp) and notes, including extracts from the book (n.d., 9pp).

Browne, Francis Mary, 1880-1960, Jesuit priest, photographer and chaplain

Pamphlet on "Fr. Willie”

Pamphlet “Fr. Willie” Father William Doyle, S.J. His World-wide Appeal and Favours Attributed to His Intercession, ‘Irish Messenger’ Series.

Irish Messenger Office, 1888-

Pen and Ink-Bottle belonging to Fr Willie Doyle SJ

Pen and Ink-Bottle belonging to Fr Willie Doyle SJ - ‘The Red Dwarf No. 2. Stylograph’ and ‘Swan fountfiller for travellers’. With box.

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Photographs and postcards by the Imperial War Museum, London, England

Photographs and postcards sent to Prof. Alfred O’Rahilly by the Imperial War Museum, London, England, for use in his book on Fr Willie Doyle SJ. Includes a note ‘Don’t mix these with the others. Return these to me. These are photos which I bought but decided not to use.’ All photographs are dated and described on back. Photos are mostly of the ruins of Ypres, Guillemont, Loos etc. Sizes: 21 1/2cm x 16 1/2cm; 14cm x 9cm and 27 1/2cm x 9cm.

O’Rahilly, Alfred, 1884-1969, President of University College Cork

Photographs of First World War scenes

File of photographs of First World War scenes (Military convoy, 30 July 1916 and the Menin Road), Rathfarnham Castle and Dalkey. Includes copies of images of St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly and Kemmel Hill and Zonnebeke, Belgium and small handwritten sketch maps of Ypres (11 February 1935).

Photographs of Fr Willie Doyle SJ

File of copies photographs of Fr Willie Doyle SJ including: newspaper photograph announcing death (1917); mounted photograph of Willie and his brother, when both young; copies of portrait photographs of Fr Willie Doyle SJ used in publications, Fr Doyle in military uniform and with his parents and in group photograph with other Jesuits.

Postcard sent by Fr Willie Doyle SJ to Sr M. Anthony, Cork

Covering note and postcard sent from the Front by Fr Willie Doyle SJ, to Sister M. Anthony, St Mary’s of the Isle, Cork. Possibly Sr Anthony (Margaret) O’Rahilly (1872-1921).

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Postcards and photographs of ‘views in France and Belgium’

Postcards and photographs of ‘views in France and Belgium’. Includes photographs of Kemmel Chateau and the Convent at Locre, Belgium and General Hickie and aide-de-camp Captain O’Connell at St Omer, 16 July 1917; carte postale of Sr Antonius, Locre, Belgium, with inscription by Fr Charles Doyle SJ on reverse, indicating the room of Fr Doyle and church of Noeux les Mines, France.

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