Item description for The Padre of Trench Street by Alfred O'Rahilly...
Fr. William Doyle served as chaplain to the 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers, the 8th Dublins; the 2nd Irish Guards, and the 48th Brigade.
He was awarded a Military Cross for his bravery at the Somme for persisting in giving last rites to as many of the 800 soldiers who died in a gas attack as possible, nearly dying himself from gas poisoning in the process.
"The vast majority of the chaplains at the Front seldom see anything more dangerous than the shell of an egg of doubtful age." said Fr Doyle in one of his letters home, "but we with the Irish Regiments live in the thick of it." And in the thick of it indeed he was, going with his men straight from the horrors of Loos onto The Somme and then onto the Fourth Battle of Ypres.
"My church is a bit of a trench, the altar a pile of sandbags, or a biscuit box supported on two German bayonets. Though we have to stand deep in mud, not knowing when a sudden call to arms will come, many a fervent prayer goes up to heaven from there." He also included many rats, insects and vermin among his parishioners. Of his men he was really proud. "Our poor lads are just grand," he says. "They curse like troopers all day, they give the Germans hell, purgatory and heaven all combined at night, and next morning come kneeling in the mud for Mass and Holy Communion when they get a chance; and they beam all over with genuine pleasure when their Padre comes past their dug-out or meets them in the trench. I have got to love my brave lads almost like my own brothers & sisters. Yet soon I shall have to see the majority of them blown to bits, torn and mangled out of shape."
At Ypres, the most horrifying of all WWI battlefields to which another priest refused to go, Fr. Doyle merely doubled his work: the men needed him. Refusing to stay sheltered, he insisted on 'recklessly' crawling out into No Mans Land to confess the trapped men. Fr. Doyle died while anointing a officer in an exposed position, and was recommended for the Victoria Cross for bravery.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.95" Width: 4.8" Height: 0.47" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 2005
Publisher Diggory Press
ISBN 190536315X ISBN13 9781905363155
Availability 0 units.
More About Alfred O'Rahilly
Alfred O'Rahilly was born in 1884 and died in 1969.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Padre of Trench Street?
a very graphic moving account of the Somme and Ypres Jul 27, 2005
This book is an account of Father Doyle's military life taken from his letter and journals. It is an astounding, well-written and graphic description of war. The decriptions of the Somme and Ypres are horrific..I have never read anything that graphic about these battlefields.
While I am not a Roman Catholic/Jesuit, I was nevertheless deeply touched by this man's bravery, love and dedication to his men and his God. He more than went the extra mile for them...as far as letting a sick man sleep on his back instead of the floor. He eventually gave his life.... well recommended, regard;ess of your religious views.