First World War

Fr William Doyle SJ
Award winning journalist Robert Fisk has held up an Irish Jesuit, Fr Willie Doyle, as a counter example to Brexit.  Fr Doyle SJ, died serving as a chaplain during the First World War.  Last week, Fisk was attending a lecture by Damien Burke of the Irish Jesuit Archives, in Dalkey, outside of Dublin, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Fr Doyle’s death.  The Irish Jesuit made a deep impression on many alongside him: he was mentioned in dispatches, awarded a military cross and...
Next month alumni of Beaumont College will travel to the battlefield of Verdun to commemorate the Beaumont Old Boys who fought and died in the First World War. Beaumont College in Old Windsor, Berkshire, was run by the Society of Jesus from 1861 until its closure in 1967. Over 600 Old Beaumont boys (OBs) are known to have served during the course of the war. The final casualty figure stands at 132 OBs – for a comparatively small school this figure is thought to be among the highest of any...
Soldiers in the trenches at Verdun on the Western Front, Wikipedia Commons
Alumni of Beaumont College, the Jesuit school in Berkshire from 1861 until 1967, are planning a trip to the Verdun Battlefield in May 2017, thereby completing their homage to the Old Beaumont boys (OBs) who fought and gave their lives in France during the First World War.Beaumont was probably the only school founded in the 19th century specifically to educate sons of the Diplomatic Corps and others posted to London. It attracted a following from all over the world but especially from France and...
Lieutenant Patrick Joseph McCusker, 1894 - 1916
Relatives of a Stonyhurst alumnus who died in World War I will be travelling to the Somme Battlefields next month to mark the centenary of his death.Lieutenant Patrick Joseph McCusker was born on 24 March 1894 in Neilston, a village and parish in East Renfrewshire in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. After being educated by the Jesuits at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, he returned to Scotland to study medicine at Glasgow University before receiving his commission. In 1916, it was...
Fr Denis Doyle, Army Chaplain. Killed in the War, Aug. 19, 1916.
To commemorate 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme on the 1st July 1916, the Archives of the Jesuits in Britain remember a Jesuit Chaplain, Fr Denis Doyle SJ (1878-1916), who as part of the 2nd Battalion, Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment served and died there.Fr Doyle had been the Minister at Manresa before joining the Leinster Regiment in November 1915, and a number of his letters home appeared in issues of Letters & Notices from early 1916, alongside those of...
Photo of Accrington Pals/Photo of jobseeker in Burnley
The town of Accrington, home to over 300 men who were killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, is an example of a community who were defenceless against the juggernaut that was World War I. 8 miles north-east and 100 years later, we find an example of a community that is just as vulnerable to a new force but has responded in a different way. The Jesuits in Britain’s Provincial Fr Dermot Preston reflects on last week’s referendum result through the lens of his hometown of...
Small portrait images of John Stratton and Arthur Graham on a black and white image of an outdoor service during WWI
Last week marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Verdun, which was fought from 21 February to 18 December 1916. It was one of the largest battles of World War I on the Western Front between the German and French armies, and took place in north-eastern France near Verdun-sur-Meuse.To mark this anniversary, we thought we should share some more information about the Jesuit chaplains who served in World War I, who have not yet been featured on this website.Chaplains’ Weekly...
‘Every soldier needs to know that in his chaplain he has his most faithful friend, always willing to help, and who will never let him down.’ Thinking Faith marks Armistice Day 2014 by reproducing a description of ‘the duties of a priest in the field’ given by Blessed Rupert Mayer, a German Jesuit who served as an army chaplain during World War I. Blessed Rupert Mayer (1876-1945), the featured Jesuit for November in the 2014 calendar produced by the Jesuits in...
Robin Craig and the picture was taken a Wernersville Jesuit Spirituality Centre PA.
The Feast of St Ignatius Loyola on 31 July is being celebrated this year amid preparations for two other important commemorations: the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, and the bicentenary of the restoration of the Society of Jesus.  With these anniversaries in mind, Philip Endean SJ explores the martial imagery associated with the founder of the Jesuits: what is the appropriate response to the tradition of ‘Ignatius the soldier-saint’ in the modern age? St...
‘Before we embark on this showcase of memory at this centenary of appalling violence, it is a good thing to ask: What are we about to do? What is a correct orientation to all of this?’ Nathan Koblintz uses the poetry of Edward Thomas, who wrote during, but rarely about, the First World War, to think critically about the act of remembrance.  The words of an Ignatian prayer offer us a spiritual ideal for remembering the War – how does Thomas’s poetry come close to...