30 January 2024

The original British War Medal ( 1914-20 ) issued to Company Sergeant Major Martin Doyle VC, 1st Bn, Royal Munster Fusiliers, has been sold at auction by Spink of London, on the 30th January 2024.

The sale estimate was between £4,000 to £6,000. The sale hammer price realised £4,500. The identity of the purchaser has not been revealed.

Martin Doyle's Victoria Cross and Military Medal were bought at a Spink auction in June 1995 by the Lord Ashcroft VC Collection and are on display in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London.

Medal entitlement of Company Sergeant Major Martin Doyle,
1st Bn, Royal Munster Fusiliers

  • Victoria Cross
  • Military Medal ( MM )
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )

  • British War Medal naming
    9962 W.O. CL. 2. M. DOYLE. R. IR. REGT.

For the award of the Victoria Cross.

[ London Gazette, 31 January 1919 ] Near Riencourt, France, 2 September 1918, Company Sergeant Major Martin Doyle, 1st Bn, Royal Munster Fusiliers

For most conspicuous bravery on the 2nd September 1918, when as Acting Company Serjeant Major, command of the company devolved upon him consequent on officer casualties.

Observing that some of our men were surrounded by the enemy, he led a party to their assistance, and by skill and leadership worked his way along the trenches, killed several of the enemy and extricated the party, carrying back, under heavy fire, a wounded officer to a place of safety.

Later, seeing a Tank in difficulties, he rushed forward under intense fire, routed the enemy who were attempting to get into it, and prevented the advance of another enemy party collecting for a further attack on the Tank.

An enemy machine gun now opened on the Tank by close range, rendering it impossible to get the wounded away, whereupon C.S.M. Doyle, with great gallantry, rushed forward, and, single-handed, silenced the machine gun, capturing it with three prisoners.

He then carried a wounded man to safety under very heavy fire. Later in the day, when the enemy counter-attacked his position, he showed great power of command, driving back the enemy and capturing many prisoners.

Throughout the whole of these operations Company Sergeant Major Doyle set the very highest example to all ranks by his courage and total disregard of danger.

Martin Doyle was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 8th May 1919.

For the award of the Military Medal ( MM )

[ London Gazette, 13 September 1918 ], Hattenfield, France, 24 March 1918, Sergeant Martin Doyle, 1st Bn, Royal Munster Fusiliers

"For extreme courage in northern France in capturing a barn held by a German gun crew"

Martin Doyle died on the 20th November 1940 and was buried in the Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin.


Go to VC Home Page

Iain Stewart, 20 February 2024