Doyle & McDowell History
"Famous & Infamous Doyles"
A very brief look at the history of Ireland and
the Irish diaspora, with references from historical
records about some of the parts played by members
of the Doyle family.
1940's to today
In 1941 Lieutenant (Temporary Captain)
Patrick Maurice William Doyle of the 5th Maharatta Light
Infantry Regiment (Indian Army) was awarded the Military
Cross for actions against the Japanese while
commanding native troops that led to the capture of Keren.
"When attacking, the company came under
unexpectedly heavy machine-gun fire, but under Captain
Doyle’s intrepid leadership, the men, who were as yet
unaccustomed to severe action, never faltered. Four concrete
machine-gun emplacements were captured after severe fighting
in which Captain Doyle killed three men. He then rallied his
company under extremely difficult conditions, owing to
machine-gun fire from the enemy rear positions, organised
the collection of the wounded and effected a successful
withdrawal." (In this action Captain Doyle proved
himself to be a courageous and most efficient leader of
The New Zealand Roll of Honour records that
in 1946 Sergeant Thomas Edward Doyle of the New
Zealand 27th Battalion received the award of Britain’s Military
Medal (equivalent of the U.S. Army’s Silver
Star decoration) for bravery in action against German
troops on the Italian Front during World War Two. (He was
also awarded a Mentioned-in-Despatches for his
bravery during the war.)
Sadly there were also Doyle men killed in
action during the Vietnam War (1960-75), while serving in both
the American and Australian Armies. You will soon be able to
find their names on a Doyle
Roll of Honour, which is currently being
In more recent times, the name Doyle has
also been frequently associated with the Arts.
Patrick Doyle (born in Scotland in
1953) has had a magnificent career in film scoring
in just a few years. Beginning with Shakespear’s Henry
V, he has had the same kind of majestic musical touch as
Shakespeare had with the sonnet. Having teamed up Kenneth
Branagh in Henry V, they have gone on together to make film
hits of the Bard’s
Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet.
He has continued on with other well known successes like the
film scores for Great Expectations, Sense and
Sensibility, Dead Again, Frankenstein, Carlito’s Way,
Shipwrecked, A Little Princess, and Mrs. Winterbourne.
The Australian comedian John Doyle,
"Roy Slaven", host of T.V. programs
in Australia and the U.K. was born in 1953 at Sydney. He was
educated at De La Salle Academy, and graduated university in
Arts. He was been honoured with awards from the Australian
Writers Guild, the New York Festival, and the Sydney Theatre
Yet another Doyle having made a distinctive
contribution to the Arts (as a world renown writer) is Roddy
Doyle (born in Dublin 1958), and has achieved worldwide
fame and wealth from such novels as The Commitments
and Paddy Clarke, Ha, Ha, Ha.
In New Zealand, the Doyles
have been most prominent in the 2Oth Century, and a recent
edition of the "New Zealand Who’s Who" includes
the following listings:
James Michael Doyle, born in Dublin
in 1946, arrived in New Zealand in 1974. He was educated at
Newbridge College, County Kildare, Ireland; he graduated
from University College, Dublin in 1971. He is the Executive
Director of the Association of Polytechnics in New
Zealand, Chairman of the St. Patrick’s College
Silverstream Board of Governors, and has published several
educational textbooks. He was awarded the New Zealand
1990 Medal for services to education.
Ellen Agnes Doyle, New Zealand born
(1935), was educated at Sacred Heart College, Timaru and
graduated with Honours from Canterbury University College in
1955. She has achieved a considerable renown in New Zealand
and Australia for her achievements in music,
education, and writing.
The New Zealand Roll of Honour records that
in 1949 a Patrick Doyle was honoured by the New
Zealand Government and admitted as a Member of the
Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
Murray Richard Doyle, New Zealand
born (1959), is a well-known member of the New Zealand
Stock Exchange and a Director of Doyle Paterson
Brown Consolidated Resources.
Royce Vivian Doyle, New Zealand born
(1930), was educated at Wairarapa College, Masterton and
graduated from the Bankers’ Administrative Staff College,
Sydney Australia in 1973. He became the Chief Manager
Corporate Services and Company Secretary of the Bank of New
Zealand in 1987, and is a Past Chairman of the
Bankers’ Institute of Australasia. His community works
include being Currator of the Bank of New Zealand Art
Collection, Vice President of the Eagles Golfing Society of
New Zealand, as well as voluntary work for the Mary Potter
Hospice and various other charities.
Professor Terence Charles Anthony Doyle,
New Zealand born (1950), has graduated from Otago
University, New England University (Australia), and
Melbourne University (Australia). He a Professor at
Otago University, as well as the director of
radiology of the Otago Crown Health Enterprise, and director
of the Otago-Southland Breast Cancer Programme, and also a
former consultant radiologist at the Royal Melbourne
In Australia, the Doyles have
also been most prominent in the 20th Century.
John Doyle 1887 - 1987, a native of
Wexford resigned from The Royal Irish Constabulary ' to
better his position' and migrated to Western Australia,
where he rose rapidly through the police ranks there and was
commissioner of police from 1946 until his retirement
Ralph Doyle, born at Sydney in 1894,
and Public School educated, joined the Australian Army in
1916. He saw action in France and was commissioned as an
Officer in 1918. On his return to Australia he made a very
successful career in the developing Australian motion
picture industry. He died in 1955. His brother Stuart
Doyle, born at Sydney in 1887 also made a name in the
motion picture industry. Stuart went on to found the Australian
Broadcasting Company, to provide a national wireless
service. It was taken over by the Australian federal
Government in 1932 and became known as the Australian
Broadcasting Commission. He again turned his interests to
the motion picture industry and was active in establishing
both cinema chains and filmmaking companies. He died in
Austin Doyle, was born in Yorkshire,
England in 1923, and educated at Exeter School. He graduated
in medicine from London University in 1946, and served as a
surgeon-lieutenant in the Royal Navy. After during research
at the Wellcome Institute in New Zealand, and the
Hammersmith Postgraduate Medical School in London, he became
Professor of Clinical Medicine at Melbourne University in
Australia. From 1982 to 1984 he was President of the
International Society of Hypertension. In 1986 he
became Dean of Graduate Studies, and Senior Physician
at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. He died in
Peter Doyle, born at Sydney in 1932,
has developed a Sydney-based group of internationally
famed restaurants. He is an influential
representative of the Australian fishing industry, and his
is the Chairman of the Australian Maritime Museum.
He is a Member of the Order of Australia.
Rev Father Tom’ Doyle BCom, STD honoris
causa, FACE, was born 1934 at East Melbourne. He serves
as the Director of Catholic Education. Father
Tom was educated at C.B.C. Parade College and graduated from
Julian Doyle LLB, was born in 1935 at
Melbourne, and has been a Partner in Charge of
International Relations, Gouldens, London since
1989. He was educated at Xavier College, Melbourne, and
graduated in Law at Melbourne University and University of
John Doyle QC, LLB, BCL, was born in
1945, and was educated at St. Ignatius College in Adelaide.
He graduated in law from both Adelaide University and Oxford
University. He currently holds the post of Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia.
Another Doyle lawyer of note in Australia is
Shane Doyle, Queens Council, LLB (Hons), BEcon,
BCL (Oxon); Barrister-at-Law in Brisbane.
Peter Doyle BCom, LLB (Hons), LLM,
was born in 1954 at Melbourne and was educated at Caufield
Grammar School. He graduated from Melbourne University. He
is currently a Banking Partner at Mallesons Stephen
Robert Doyle LLB, Clerk of the
Queensland Parliament, was educated at Hobart High
School and University of Tasmania.
The Doyles have also been active in politics:-
Between 1912 and 1913, Cornelius J. Doyle
held the Office of Secretary of State for the American State
Thomas Aloyssius Doyle (1886-1935),
served as the U.S. Representative from the State of
The Honourable Thomas Francis Doyle
represented the electorate of Bluff as a Member of
Parliament in the pre-Second World War New Zealand
The Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme
Court in the U.S.A., between 1959 and 1961 was William E.
James M. Doyle, born in the U.S.A.,
was Chief Justice of the South Dakota Supreme Court, and
died in 1976
Clyde Gilman Doyle (1887-1963) from
Oakland, California, served as a California representative
from 1945 to 1963.
James E. Doyle, Attorney General of
the U.S. State of Wisconsin, attended Stanford University
and graduated in 1967. After he and his wife had served as
teachers for two years in Tunisia with the Peace Corps, he
entered Harvard Law School. He graduated cum laude in 1972.
He was first elected to Public Office in 1976. He is also
the President of the National Association of Attorneys
General of the U.S.A.
Robert Doyle BA, BEd, Mlitt, MACE,
born in 1953 at Melbourne (Australia), was educated at
Geelong College, and graduated in Arts from Monash
University. He is now a Member of Parliament for the Seat of
Malvern in Victoria, Australia.
The U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania
since 1995 is Michael F. Doyle.
The current (1999) Lord Mayor of the City of
Dublin is Senator Joe’ Doyle.
Senator Avril Doyle, formerly a
member of the upper house of the the Irish Parliament , is
now a member of the European Parliament.
That the Doyles are still a well-known
"Military Family" is very evident,
and various records in more recent times include the
Sir John Francis Hastings Doyle,
Baronet, joined The Royal Irish Fusiliers in 1932 and
saw his first military action with this regiment in
Palestine in 1938 (it is interesting to note that this
famous Irish regiment had been first raised by another Sir
John Doyle nearly 200 years earlier); Sir John also served
in the famous "Cameronians", The Scottish Rifles
Regiment during the Second World War (from 1941) and retired
from the Army as a Major in 1950.
Vice Admiral James Henry Doyle, USN (1897-1982) was
born in Jamaica, New York and graduated from the U.S. Naval
Academy in 1919. He received a Juris Doctor with distinction
from George Washington University Law School in 1929. During
the Second World War he was awarded the Legion of
Merit decoration for his distinguished service as
the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps’ Amphibious Forces
Operations Officer during the Solomon Islands campaign.
Later in the war he commanded the light cruiser U.S.S.
Pasadena, and he was awarded the Bronze Star
decoration for bravery during the final strikes
against Japan. During the Korean War he commanded the U.S.
Navy, Marines, and Army forces of Amphibious Group 1, and
was personally responsible for the flawless execution of the
amphibious phase of the invasion on Inchon in 1950. Admiral
Doyle’s naval attack force put 13,000 Marines ashore on a
forbidding coastline, together with all their heavy weapons
and equipment. Despite being hampered by the extraordinary
tides and currents of the Yellow Sea, lack of suitable
landing beaches, mud banks, and islands which restricted the
long approach to Inchon, the 1st Marine Division with
attached U.S. Army and Korean units landed and moved on into
the Korean mainland. This extremely difficult and dangerous
operation turned the tide of the war against the invading
communist North Korean Army. (Prior to the Inchon invasion,
American and United Nations troops had suffered numerous
defeats and had been forced into a series of hastily
retreats to a small "toe-hold" at the very bottom
of the Korean Peninsula.) Later, when Communist Chinese
forces invaded North Korea and entrapped U.S. ground forces,
Admiral Doyle commanded the Hungnam withdrawal ... an
amphibious landing in reverse. In an operation characterised
by ingenuity and superb Naval gunfire support, the 1st
Marine Division, the 3rd and 7th U.S. Army Divisions, and
100,000 Korean civilians were evacuated under the sweep of
heavy enemy gunfire without a single allied casualty. For
these masterful exploits Admiral Doyle was awarded the U.S.
Navy Distinguished Service Medal decoration and the U.S.
Army Silver Star decoration. Admiral Doyle retired
from the U.S. Navy in 1953, and established a law practice
in Austin, Texas. Admiral Doyle is survived by his two sons,
Vice Admiral James H. Doyle, Jr. (also of the U.S.
Navy) and John J. Doyle of San Francisco. There is an
active commissioned US Navy frigate, the USS Doyle
(FFG39) named for him and there is a link to the USS
Doyle Web Site included in our Doyle
& McDowell Links Page.
Michael Roch James Doyle, is recorded
as commanding African native troops at an isolated outpost
on special operations during the counter-insurgency bush war
in Rhodesia during the second half of the 1970’s.
The same Michael Doyle also spent long periods with the
Christian Militia in Lebanon during much of the 1980’s.
Lebanon Mountains Winter 1983
Gareth Doyle, born at Manchester in
England, is recorded on the official medal rolls in London
as having served as a Non-Commissioned Officer with the
elite paratroopers of 9 Parachute Squadron during the
1982 Falklands War.
Captain Doyle U.S.N. (an American
naval aviator) was recorded as holding the appointment of
Chief of Staff for the U.S. Navy’s Training Air Wing Four
If you have any information
or illustrations about other famous (or
"infamous"!) Doyles, please share it with us all
for inclusion on this page. Send any such submission
The Clan Chamberlain
P.O. Box 173
Dromana Victoria 3936