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Home Journal Archives Journal 92 - March 2012 A Family Tradition of Military Service

A Family Tradition of Military Service

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854734 Corporal Stephen Doyle 3rd Infantry Battalion

Born in Dublin he enlisted on the 27th of June 1990 with the 2nd Infantry Battalion, at Cathal Brugha Brks Dublin aged 18 years.

Cpl Doyle is currently serving with the 3rd Infantry Battalion, James Stephens Brks, Co Kilkenny. After basic training he was posted to the 2nd Cavalry Squadron at Cathal Brugha Brks where he served until his transfer to the Military College in Feb 2000.

During his time with 2nd Cavalry Squadron his duties involved being a member of the Escort to the President as well as visiting Dignitaries and Heads of State. The unit was also tasked with border operations and overseas commitments.It was during this time he served on six overseas tours with armoured recce units under (U.N.I.F.I.L) the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon.

After service with both the Cadet School and United Nations Training School, he transferred to 3rd Infantry Battalion on the 3rd of Dec 2007. He continues to employ his skill in the mechanised infantry role, having been recently deployed to K.F.O.R (Kosovo) with the 40th Infantry Groups, (APC) Armoured Personnel Company, Mowag detachment from Mar to Oct 2009.

He is will deploy with the 105th  Inf Bn to U.N.I.F.I.L. (Lebanon) on the 17th of November 2011.

Both His brothers Laurence and Mark also served with the forces, starting out with the 2nd Infantry battalion. Laurence is now a Sgt Instructor with the Infantry Weapons School having just returned from Fort Bragg North Carolina representing the Army in the annual international sniping competition.

Mark is now serving with An Garda Siochana in Dublin.


5235 Private Matthew Green 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Born in the parish of Birkenhead, Liverpool England he enlisted on the 21st February 1896 for the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in Carlow aged 19 years.

He was five foot and five inches in height, with blue eyes and brown hair.

He served abroad for just short of six years. Firstly on active service in India.

The newly formed regiment first saw action in 1897, when the 2nd battalion was sent to the Northwest region of India to take part in the Tirah Campaign where the Mohmand tribesmen had closed the Khyber Pass and was raging war on the Indian Government.

The 2nd Battalion arrived in South Africa from India at the close of 1901. They were sent to operate in the Pietersburg district under Colonel Colenbrander, and did good service there. In his telegram of 13th April 1902 Lord Kitchener said; “Bayers Laager having been located at palkop, the force under Colonel Colenbrander moved by different routes from Pietersburg so as to block all the principal outlets. The march was successful, and at 3pm on the 8th a half battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, led by Colonel Murray, attacked the entrance of Molipspoort, covering the enemy’s position. The Royal Inniskilling fusiliers advancing magnificently in the face of opposition, and making skilful use of cover, by dusk had seized a hill to the east of poort”.

In the fighting on the 8th and 9th 1 officer was killed, 3 officers and five men wounded. Two officers gained mention in despatches for good work on this occasion.

The 2nd Battalion then Left South Africa on October 24th 1903  embarking on the H.T Dunera for Egypt, where they would serve for a further five years.

After returning home from the war he discharged himself from the army on the 20th February 1908 in Belfast.

He served a total of 12 years in the Forces.

During the civil war he would be called upon again to share his knowledge in guerrilla tactics to the flying columns who were rising up to meet the new foe. The dreaded Black and Tans. For his services he was awarded the Black and tan medal.



8876 Private Michael Doyle 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Born Rathoe, County Carlow, enlisted in the RDF aged 18 on the 28th December 1903, having previously served the local militia of the 8th battalion Kings Royal Rifles.

He was at that time 5 foot 4, and weighed 12st/14lbs had grey eyes and brown hair.

Landed in France with the 2nd battalion 23rd August 1914 and taken POW 27th August 1914 while fighting a rearguard action with the BEF at the battle if Le Cateau, Mons.

He was then held in Limburg POW camp for the remainder of the war.

Out of a battalion of twenty two officers and one thousand and twenty three other ranks that landed in France on the 23rd of August, all that was left on the 13th of September after twenty days of fighting, was ten officers and four hundred and seventy eight other ranks, the rest were killed, wounded or taken prisoner.

The terrible loss of men at this time was enormous. The French Army was almost wiped out and after four days of action lost 40,000 men, on the 22nd of August alone a staggering 27,000 men fell, the bloodiest day in the history of the French Army.

At the battle of the Marne as it was known, the German advance stalled thanks to the brave sacrifice and gallant action of those men who held their positions in the face of overwhelming odds. The French’s losses would amount to 400,000.  The Schlieffen plan was halted, but not before the flower of German manhood was killed as well. The name for those opening months was kindermorder , “the slaughter of the young”.


72441 Private Laurence Doyle 3rd Infantry Battalion

Born Rathoe County Carlow, enlisted in the 3rd Infantry Battalion aged 18 years on the 21st July 1931.

He served with the 3rd Infantry Battalion until his transfer to 6th field signals on the 2nd December 1942.

This time in Irelands History 1939 to 1945, was known as the “Emergency” due to An Taoiseach, Eamon de Valeras neutral stance during the conflict raging in Europe.

However Ireland was not immune from the war and it eventually visited the country in the form of the Luftwaffe. In August 1940 German bombs fell on the creamery of Campile in Co Wexford, killing 3 women and on 31st may 1941, the North Strand area of Dublin was bombed, killing 34 people and injuring another 90 as well as destroying over three hundred houses. Navigational error was to blame for these attacks however in Belfast there was no mistake. Some 1,100 people died and 56,000 houses were destroyed with 100,000 made homeless during ten hours of intense bombing. The blitz in Belfast was the worst suffered by any city in the UK outside London.

To prepare for potential invasion the “Blackwater Manouveres” were carried out to prove to our British counterparts of our readiness and ability to stem any such event.

They commenced on the 17th August 1942 starting in Dublin with the principal exercise area roughly between killavullen and Cappoquin Co Waterford this being the estimated German landing place.The exercise ended in Dublin on the 27th September.

One officer and three other ranks were drowned during the Blackwater river crossing.

Pte Laurence Doyle discharged from the Army on the 23rd of January 1946, ‘on termination of his engagement’ having served 15 years with the forces. He continued to serve as 612017 Pte Laurence Doyle with the LDF/FCA until his discharge on the 22nd May 1954.


818038 Trooper Laurence Doyle 2nd Motor Squadron.

Born in Barracks St Tullow Co Carlow 0n 31st August 1950 he enlisted in Army in 1968 aged 18 years. He served with the 2nd Motor Squadron and was on active service with the unit during the Northern Ireland Troubles from 1969 onwards.

He had the distinction of presenting An tUchtarain Mr Eamon De Valera with a presentation on behalf of the Unit upon his departure from office.

During the 1960’s 2 motor Squadron personnel served with distinction in ONUC in the former BELGIAN CONGO. At the NIEMBA Ambush of 08 November 1960, Sgt HUGH GAYNOR, Tpr THOMAS FENNELL and Tpr ANTHONY BROWNE lost their lives. Tpr Browne was later posthumously awarded the Military Medal for Gallantry. – With the following citation. “He had a reasonable opportunity of escaping because he was not wounded but chose to remain with an injured comrade”.

By 1964 the CONGO situation was beginning to cool but the temperature was rising in CYPRUS because of the GREEK/TURKISH confrontation.

Many Squadron personnel served in CYPRUS with UNFICYP where sixteen AML 60 Panhards were first deployed.

The ‘TROUBLES’ in Northern Ireland escalated in 1969 and eight of the sixteen armoured cars deployed to CYPRUS were returned home. A Troop from 2 Motor Squadron moved to CAVAN for a time, then to CASTLEBLANEY and DUNDALK and remained there actively involved on Border operations from 1972 to 1984.

Tpr Laurence Doyle discharged from the Army in 1984 after 15 years service.


834959 Sgt Matthew Doyle 3rd Infantry Battalion

Born In Barracks St Tullow co Carlow on 31st March 1947 he enlisted on the 8th of January 1976 aged 29 years.

He began his military career like most men, in the G.T.D (General Training Depot) Mc Donagh Brks in the Curragh. After a period he was posted to the 3rd Infantry Battalion in Connolly Brks.

He was one of the founder members of the Irish Army (S.A.G) Special Assault Groups and then the Army Ranger Wing (A.R.W) Irelands Special Forces, in the early eighties, as most European powers began to rise to the threat of potential subversive and terrorist elements which were emerging both inside and outside the state.

He served on two tours of duty with the (U.N.I.F.I.L) the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon. Firstly the 46th Inf Btn / B coy and then the 52nd Inf Btn / H.Q. Coy.

The village of At Tiri was located at the forward edge of the Irish AOR, dominated by Hill 880. Four Irish UN posts were in this enclave and while of no great strategic value, were politically important.

The post’s became commonly known as ‘hostage spots’ due to their vulnerability.

During the 46th Infantry battalions tour they would be engaged in what would be forever more known as the Battle for At Tiri. 

Between the 6th and 13th of April 1980 at At Tiri village Pte Stephen Griffin Irishbatt and Pte S Sornaivalu Fijibatt were killed in action,(R.I.P) amongst many others who were wounded.

He discharged himself from the Army on the 4th of October 1990 at the rank of sergeant having completed 15 years service.

Home Journal Archives Journal 92 - March 2012 A Family Tradition of Military Service

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