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Memorial for Fr WJ Doyle, who died at Ypres in 1917
Belonged to my grandfather Patrick Joseph Morrin who fought in the 1914-18 War, who must have known the Chaplain. Because they worked so close to the fighting, many chaplains died in the line of duty: in total, 172 British Army chaplains were killed or later died from their wounds in the war. Father William Doyle SJ, from Dublin, was ordained in 1907 and was appointed chaplain to the 16th (Irish) Division in November 1915. Fr Doyle spent much of his time at the front lines, frequently going ‘over the top’ to help injured and dying men. His bravery was a source of inspiration to many and his good humour and generosity made him an extremely popular figure. Fr Doyle was killed in shell-fire while tending to wounded men during the Third Battle of Ypres on 16 August 1917.