Doyle & McDowell History


ie-ui.jpg (12863 bytes)



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.


Captaindoyle.jpg (4423 bytes)
Lt. Doyle

Military Cross


"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 native soldiers.)

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.)

Military Medal
Military Medal

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 prepared.

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 Critics Award.

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 Hospital.

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 in 1951.

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 1945.

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 1993.

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 Melbourne University.

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 California.

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 Jaques.

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 of Illinois.

Thomas Aloyssius Doyle (1886-1935), served as the U.S. Representative from the State of Illinois.

The Honourable Thomas Francis Doyle represented the electorate of Bluff as a Member of Parliament in the pre-Second World War New Zealand Legislative Assembly.

The Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court in the U.S.A., between 1959 and 1961 was William E. Doyle.

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 following mentions:-

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.

admdoy.jpg (28140 bytes)

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
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 in 1998.

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 to:-

The Clan Chamberlain
P.O. Box 173
Dromana Victoria 3936


 To send in details and illustrations
of interesting Doyles in these periods of history,
for consideration for inclusion in the Doyle & McDowell History Page.
Please contact us by e-mail

Celt Knot




Meaning of the

The Doyles of
 Ancient Ireland

About the Clan

The Official Clan

The Clan Badge

The Clan Gathering

 Clan Gathering
Highlights 99

Where are they 


Saint Patrick

Traditional Celtic Dress

Irish Tartans

Doyle Tartan

Our Patron

Irish Chiefs

The Gift Shop

Doyle Heraldry

Doyle Coats of Arms

Personal Coat of Arms

The Order of St Patrick

Doyle History 
Antiquity to the 1100's 

Doyle History 
1100's  to the 1640's
Doyle History 
1640's to the 1690's
Doyle History 
1690's to the 1790's
Doyle History 
1790's  to the 1850's
Doyle History 
1850's  to the 1880's
Doyle History 
 1880's to the1900's 
Doyle History 
 the 1900's to 1916 
Doyle History 
1916  to the 1940's 
Doyle History 
1940's  to today 

Roll of Honour
American Civil War

Roll of Honour
1914 - 1918

Roll of Honour
1916 -1922

Roll of Honour
1939 -1945
Roll of Honour
Korea - Vietnam

Doyle Links

Irish Clan Links

Irish Links

Genealogy Links

Celtic Links

The Battle of 

The Normans Invade Ireland Cromwell Devastates Ireland The Jacobite War in
The Battle of the Boyne

"Wild Geese"
Irish Soldiers in Exile

The Irish Viking 

Irish & Celtic

Doyle Web Rings

Joining The Clan

St Patrick's Cross Flag Irish Dog Breeds The Great Irish Warpipe Feedback Irish Soldiers
The British Army

 Last updated 30 April, 2001