LIEUTENANT PHILIP DENYS DOYNE
OXFORDSHIRE AND BUCKINGHAMSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY
28TH DECEMBER 1915 AGE 24
BURIED: HEBUTERNE MILITARY CEMETERY, FRANCE
"We are able" is the answer the disciples James and John gave to Jesus when, on his way to Jerusalem to his crucifixion and death, he asked them, "are ye able to drink the cup that I drink?" [Mark 10:38-9 Revised Version]. Philip Doyne's mother used the words for her son's inscription - yes he too was able to follow his Lord even though it meant going to his death.
On the outbreak of war in 1914, Doyne, a graduate of Keble College Oxford, took a commission in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry instead of taking up his place at Ely Theological College. He embarked for France on 3 August 1915. He went home on leave that Christmas, returning to France on 28 December, the same day the battalion moved into new trenches. He went out that night to inspect the wire in front of the German trenches and was caught by machine gun fire and killed. A brother officer in writing to his mother confirmed not only Doyne's bravery but also his Christian commitment:
"He was a man, brave and absolutely fearless. When there was dangerous work he was not one to send others, but to go himself. He always knelt down before going over the top of the trenches."