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Remembered Today:

Bunny Doyle, comedian, Bradford Pal, member of 'The Duds'


Mark Hone
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While looking through an old book of famous unsolved mysteries which I came across while going through my bookshelves, I spotted references to Bunny Doyle. He was apparently a popular inter-war comedian and pantomime dame from Hull. He crops up in the book because his long-time girlfriend Molly Moselle (nee Mary Burslem) disappeared without trace while with a touring production of 'The Dancing Years' in Sunderland in January 1949. The book is not well-referenced but mentions that Doyle fought with the Bradford Pals in the Great War, was awarded the Croix De Guerre and performed with the concert party 'The Duds' ( presumably not the King's Liverpool troupe of that name). There is no suggestion in the book that he was implicated in Molly's disappearance. He died in 1955. I could find remarkably little about him from an Internet search-even his real first name.

Does anyone know more, particularly about his wartime service?

Supposedly, Molly's ghost haunts the Sunderland Empire, alongside the phantom of Sid James!

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Looking at 1955 deaths, in Lancashire, of men aged 60, my best guess would be Bernard Doyle. There was 13/330 Bernard Doyle, East Yorks, which would fit with his birth place of Hull, and Bunny could be a corruption of Bernard?

I see that Betty Driver was in a number of productions with Bunny Doyle in the 1940's. I do hope that she, and her hotpots, were not involved.

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A quick search for Doyle and West Yorkshire Regiment brings no obvious candidate for the Bradford Pals,

But without more knowledge of his personal details it would be difficult to be certain.

Keith


Would there be a way to chase up the Croix de Guerre award and work backwards?

Keith

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I've found some 1920s articles which confirm that his real name was Bernard Doyle.

There's a 1919 advert for the Picture Playhouse, Hull, which mentions "Bunny Doyle - Late of 17th Division Concert Party"

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National Probate Calendar 1956 -

DOYLE, Bernard of 21 Dora-road Wimbledon S.W.19 died 27 August 1955 at The Victoria Hospital Blackpool. Administration (with Will) York 21 April to Gladys Hardy (wife of Raymond Clarke Hardy). Effects £1676 19s 8d.

Name; Bernard Doyle

Birth Date: abt 1895

Date of Registration: Sep 1955

Age at Death: 60

Registration district: Blackpool

Inferred county: Lancashire

Volume: 10b

Page: 388

1911 Census: Bernard Doyle (15) Municipal Clerk, born Hull, living at 6 Bramwell Tce, Park St, Hull, with grandfather Richard Roe (67) widower; mother Emma Ruth Doyle (36) married 17 years, born Hutton Cranswick; brother Cyril Doyle (9) born Hull; sister Gladys (6) born Hull.

Emma Ruth Roe and William Charles Doyle married in 1894.

JP

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  • 6 months later...

Hello, I am not sure if anybody is still interested in this topic as I am writing September 2016,  I am the great great niece of Bunny Doyle and can confirm all of the family information supplied (Gladys (Dolly) was my great Grandmother).  I am particularly interested in the mention of the Croix de Guerre as I have never heard mention of it in the family, did anybody turn up any information?  I would be happy to see if my mother has anything as I believe she may have some of the effects inherited from Bunny by my Great Grandmother.

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I'm not sure if there is an easily accessible Croix de Guerre register as I've never tried to research anyone who won it. I couldn't fined anything obvious on the 'net but someone on this Forum will know.

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My database is now over 47,000 names and I do not have a Doyle entitled to a French or Belgium CdG that is gazetted. Not saying he did not get one, but I have not found him.

If someone else does, please let me know

 

Peter

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  • 10 months later...

I have a signed photo of Bunny Doyle if you would like it. 

My mother worked at the Station Hotel in Chesterfield during WW2. A very smart place where she was a silver service dining waitress. He must have been a guest there and possibly appearing locally.  

 

It says ....

To Marie

thanks, sorry I'm always late

Bunny Doyle

 

Linda B

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  • 3 years later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

What a story!

Thanks for posting an up date. Watching with great interest.

Cheers.

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