Background

The Rev Willie Doyle S.J. was an Irish Jesuit priest. Born in Dalkey Co. Dublin Ireland, he volunteered to be a chaplain for the Irish Divisions in the First World War. Fr. Doyle would have been considered ‘old’ for a volunteer at forty-two in 1915. He was a prolific writer corresponding with his Father, siblings and friends wherever he was, home or abroad. Fr Willie Doyle was killed in action at Passchendaele on August 16th, 1917.

His war correspondence is quite poignant, covering almost two years of active service, he wrote to his Father more often, sending him his diaries or budgets’ as he referred to them. These ‘budgets’ some of which he titled “Bully-Beef” or “The Pig Sty” have been transcribed and published on a few occasions, but very few of the twenty letters he wrote in 1917 have been published, and these amount to ninety pages spanning from 4th January 1917 until 11th August 1917. The Irish Jesuits have paid tribute to Fr. Doyle on several occasions in print and other media, they have a presence on social media sites as well as having a blog site and webpage.