The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster
 

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Augustus Frederick Doyle

DOYLE, Augustus Frederick, L/Cpl.

Augustus Frederick Doyle was born on 1 April 1897 in Donore Avenue, Dublin. His parents, Henry Doyle born in County Wexford and Jane Monaghan born in County Wicklow, had married in Dublin in August 1882. Henry gave his occupation on the marriage certificate as ‘Mounted Police’ based at Kevin St. Police Barracks and his obituary in 1938 gave a fuller picture. He joined the Dublin Metropolitan Police in 1876 and was attached to the mounted section. He was a member of the party which carried out the investigation into the murder of Lord Cavendish, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, in the Phoenix Park in 1882 and he was a member of the escort that brought Cavendish’s body to Dr. Steeven’s Hospital. He retired from the D.M.P. in 1892 following injuries sustained when he was thrown from his horse while on duty in the Phoenix Park.

Henry and Jane Doyle had six children, though two died in infancy and another, Michael, died in 1900 aged eleven. Augustus had an older brother, Henry Francis, and a sister, Margaret.

The family had a variety of Dublin addresses and Henry consistently gave his occupation as ‘Ex-Policeman’ until the 1901 census when they were living at ‘Island Bridge Lodge’ and he was a ‘Gatekeeper’. This lodge is beside the Magazine Fort and the duties of the Gatekeeper included having the gates opened at six o’clock in the morning, in winter seven o’clock, and locked again at eleven o’clock at night.

Lance Corporal Augustus Frederick Doyle is recorded as being attached to the South Irish Horse, but his military records are very scant and do not include details of when he joined. The S.I.H. was the 7th Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, reformed in 1917 as an Infantry Battalion, and served on the Western Front. Their War Diary show that in September 1918 they were involved in an attack at Wulverghem in Belgium, where they lost two Officers and fifteen Other Ranks and sixty three other men were wounded or missing. Doyle and three other men from the S.I.H. were on RMS Leinster on 10 October 1918 and may have been returning from leave granted after that attack.

Augustus F Doyle was buried in Glasnevin cemetery on 14 November 1918. This suggests that his body was recovered from the sea sometime after the sinking of the ship.

He is buried alongside his brother Michael and his parents, and there is also a Commonwealth War Graves headstone to commemorate his life.

When Henry retired from his position as Gatekeeper in Islandbridge the family moved to Carysfort Avenue in Blackrock, and it is there that Jane Doyle née Monaghan died in 1932. It was also from there that their only daughter, Margaret, married in 1930 to Pat O’Connor, the first golf professional appointed to Woodbrook Golf Club in Bray. Henry died at his daughter’s home in Bray in 1938 and a short obituary was published in the Irish Independent.

 

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