Arthur Alleyne Kingsley Conan Doyle

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Kingsley Conan Doyle

Arthur Alleyne Kingsley Conan Doyle (15 november 1892 - 28 october 1918) was the son and second child of Arthur Conan Doyle and Louisa Hawkins.

He had a direct older sister Mary and 3 half-siblings Denis, Adrian and Lena Jean from the second marriage of his father.

He was usually called "Kingsley".

Kingsley wanted to devote his life to medicine (like the debut of his father) and started to study at St. Mary's Hospital School in London. But the First World War broke out and he interrupted his medical studies to serve in the army from 1914 to 1917.

For his service, Kingsley received :

Territorial Force
War Medal
British War

Arthur Conan Doyle about Kingsley

In his autobiography Memories and Adventures (1923), Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about his son :

« The chief event of our Norwood life was the birth of my son Kingsley, who lived to play a man's part in the Great War, and who died shortly after its conclusion. »
« All seemed placid at this time. My wife was holding her own in winter as well as in summer. The two children, Mary and Kingsley, were passing through the various sweet phases of human development, and brought great happiness into our lives. »
« And then finally, just as all seemed over, I had a double blow. First it was my Kingsley, my only son by the first marriage, one of the grandest boys in body and soul that ever a father was blessed with. He had started the war as a private, worked up to an acting captaincy in the 1st Hampshires, and been very badly wounded on the Somme. It was pneumonia which slew him in London... »
« Next day we travelled through Acheux and hit the British line once more to the east of that place. Our official chauffeur had had his instructions, and so had other people, with the result that as we swung into the broad main street of a village — Mailly, I think, was the name—there was a tall young officer standing with his back turned. He swung round at the noise of the car, and it was my boy Kingsley with his usual jolly grin upon his weather-stained features. The long arm of G.H.Q. had stretched out and plucked him out of a trench, and there he was. We had an hour's talk in a field, for there was nowhere else to go. He was hard and well and told me that all was nearly ready for a big push at the very part of the line where his battalion, the 1st Hampshires, was stationed. This was the first intimation of the great Somme battle, on the first day of which every officer of the Hampshires without exception was killed or wounded. I learned afterwards that before the battle for ten nights running Kingsley crept out to the German wire and stuck up crosses where he found the wire uncut, which were brown towards the enemy and white towards the British, as a guide to the gunners. He lay on his face sometimes with the machine guns firing just above him. For this service Colonel Palk thanked him warmly and said he should certainly have a decoration, but Palk and both majors were killed and no recommendations went forward. Two shrapnel bullets in the neck were all Kingsley got out of the battle, and two months on his back in a hospital. However, he was not a medal hunter and I never heard him complain, nor would he wear his wound badges until he was compelled. »


A friend from Eton (1906~1911) :

« He seemed so utterly removed above the many petty things of life. »

Someone in 1917 :

« He could infuse energy into the laziest man. »

Commander of Hants Regiment (1918) :

« There is one adjective more applicable to (Kingsley) Doyle than to any other officer whom I met soldiering in France ; and that adjective is 'thorough.'  »


Birth certificate (15 november 1892). GRO Ref. : 1892/Dec/CROYDON/02A/260.



  • 15 november : Birth of Arthur Alleyne Kingsley Conan Doyle at 12 Tennison Road, South Norwood, England.
  • 22 december : Baptised at St. Mark's Church, South Norwood.


  • Winter : He spent the winter in Davos (Switzerland) with his mother Louisa, his sister Mary and his aunt Lottie.


  • September : He spent holidays at the Royal Links Hotel, Cromer, Norfolk, with his parents.


  • He was sent to Sandroyd School, Oxshott Heath, Surrey.


  • 31 july : He completed his last term at Sandroyd School.
  • September : He entered Eton College.


  • 31 august : He visited his uncle Innes at Aldershot for Sports Day.
  • December : He spent Chrismas at West Grinstead Park with his aunt Connie.


  • 1 march : He attended The Poe Centenary where his father Arthur Conan Doyle made a speech.
  • Easter : He visited his sister Mary at Dresden (Germany).
  • August : He was on holidays at Swanage Dorset with his sister Mary and his aunt Juey. Then in Scotland with Mary and Dorothy Kirkwood near Largs.
  • December : He spent Christmas at Windlesham.



  • September : He passed the preliminary examination in general education at Eton.
  • 2 october : He entered St. Mary's Hospital School in London.
  • 22 november : He was enlisted into the Royal Army Medical Corps and served as private with the 1st/1st City of London Field Ambulance as a driver.


  • He passed the Conjoint Board of examination in Chemistry, Physics and Biology.


  • 10 january : He passed his examination in Pharmacy (with 80% result).


  • He passed his examinations in Anatomy and Physiology.
  • He interrupted his medical studies to serve in the army.
  • 4 september : He saw service in Malta until 19 march 1915.


  • He was recalled to train with the O.T.C. (Officer's Training Camp) at Cambridge and was gazetted to the 1st Hants.


  • 8 april : He served with the British Expeditionary Force until 3 july 1916.
  • May : His father Arthur Conan Doyle met Kingsley at Mailly (Somme, France), where he was Captain and Medical officer of the 1st Hampshire Regiment.
  • 15 june : Kingsley was appointed Temporary Lieutenant.
  • 1 july : He was seriously wounded during the Battle of the Somme and sent back to England for convalescence. He recommenced his medical studies at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington London.
  • 22 october : He returned to the front and was posted to the 3rd Reserve Battalion.


  • In 1917, he followed a bombing course in England.
  • 28 january : He was posted to the 3rd Infantry Base Depot and rejoined the British Expeditionary Force and returned to the front.
  • 14 february : He was posted to the 1st Battalion.
  • July - november : He took part in the Battle of Passchendaele (3rd Battle of Ypres) and was made Brigade observation officer.
  • 20 july : He was appointed Acting Captain.
  • 8 august : He was posted to the 11th Battalion.
  • 10 december : He relinquished his acting rank of Captain and left the British Expeditionary Force.


  • 25 january : He resigned his Commission and was granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant.
  • 25 march : He was transfered from St. Mary's Hospital to the Medical School at St. Thomas's Hopital.
  • May : He left the army.
  • 28 october 1918 : He died at St. Thomas's Hospital, London, from pneumonia during the pan-European influenza.
  • 1 november : He was buried next to his mother Louisa at St. Luke's Church, Grayshott.


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