Tribute to Devon soldier who died months after leaving Army

A former Devon soldier who tragically died within nine months of leaving the forces is to be remembered in a fitting way on what would have been his 50th birthday. Dad-of-two Jamie Doyle, who spent much of his childhood growing up in Torquay, enlisted with the army at the age of 21.

He rose to the rank of sergeant in the 4th Regiment Royal Artillery and bravely served in war zones including Afghanistan. After 22 years in the military, Jamie returned back to civilian life in January 2018 but struggled to adapt.

He was aged just 44 when he was unexpectedly found passed away at home on September 26, 2018. Jamie was among five British Army soldiers who suddenly died in tragic circumstances within just six days prompting ministers at the time to launch a study into the causes of deaths within the military.

Among the many people who attended Jamie’s funeral was fellow comrade Darren Wright. It proved to be the catalyst for founding charity Veterans Into Logistics which has now supported many ex-military personnel to begin new careers as HGV drivers.

Its first HGV training vehicle was named in memory of Jamie Doyle. It is the chosen charity for a celebration of Jamie’s life called Jamie’s 50th birthday charity match and family fun day.

It is being held on Sunday, May 5, from, midday until late at Barton Cricket Club in Barton Road, Torquay. The fun will include a children’s football tournament, music, food, drink and a raffle.

Among those who will be in attendance is Jamie’s mum Jayne Allen, of Preston, as well as Darren who is bringing a sponsored lorry with him, Army friends and other friends and family across the country.

Darren Wright who founded Veterans Into Logistics in memory of Jamie Doyle
Darren Wright who founded Veterans Into Logistics in memory of Jamie Doyle

Jayne said: “I’m overwhelmed by how many people are involved. As his mum, it’s very emotional for me but it’s really, really good to see him remembered in this way. I am so proud of the fact that people want to do it for Jamie and to raise money for Veterans Into Logistics.

“What Darren has done is absolutely amazing. After Jamie’s funeral which so many people came to – especially his Army family – Darren said he had had enough of losing friends and wanted to do something about it. That’s where it started.

“The first truck he bought was called the Jamie Doyle Truck and the second was named after Lee Ribgy as he was from the same part of Manchester as Darren.

“The charity is now making a difference to veterans’ lives. I didn’t know until Jamie passed away how many veterans die months or years after leaving the Army because they struggle to get back into civilian life.”

Jamie was born Birmingham and then moved to Torquay[1] with his family in 1984 at the age of around nine years old. He went to Priory Primary School in St Marychurch and then Torquay Boys Grammar School after doing well in his 11-plus exams.

Jayne recalled: “He was bright and a smiley, lovely boy with a great sense of humour. One of his school friends has since told me he bought a comb as a leaving present for one of his teachers. The poor man had no hair!

“Jamie was a very loving person and enjoyed being in the cadets and taking part in the annual teenagers’ challenge Ten Tors.”

After leaving school, he embarked on a carpentry course with construction company Gibbs and Lugg in Torquay before enrolling with the army at the age of 21.

Jayne said: “All of a sudden he wanted to join. From a young age, he loved Action Man, cars and aircraft so it had always been there in the background.

“It then became his life for 22 years. He served everywhere including Iraq, northern Ireland, Kenya, Cyprus and did three tours in Afghanistan in the thick of fighting on the frontline.

“He loved being in the army and got many service medals.”

After leaving the army, Jamie ended up moving to Birmingham to live closer to his daughters who he adored.

Jamie Doyle with his mum Jayne Allen
Jamie Doyle with his mum Jayne Allen

Jayne said: “When he came out I was relieved because I thought he is safe now he won’t be going to places like Afghanistan. I never thought that within the same year of him leaving that he wouldn’t be here anymore.

“He stayed in Torbay[2] until the May and then got a maisonette Sutton Coldfield. He had some family there and good job prospects so it was the right choice for him, but I think he also found it very lonely because although he lived in a residential area it was not the same as living part of an Army family.

“He was also finding things difficult in life and had a foot injury from jumping out of trucks in the army. He had it operated on but it went wrong and it became infected. He was given compensation but it left him with a limp.

“He found agency work as a lorry driver but post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a big, big thing and I never realised that. I did realise he was in need of help but I didn’t think it was something we couldn’t sort out.

“He had not been diagnosed with PTSD but he had been with adjustment disorder after coming out of the army. We also didn’t know until his death that he had heart disease.

“People assume Jamie took his own life but he didn’t; he had hopes and expectations.”

⚠️ Want the latest Devon breaking news and top stories first? Click here to join our WhatsApp group[3]. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like. If you’re curious, you can read our Privacy Notice[4] ⚠️

An inquest into his death is said to have concluded that Jamie died after taking prescribed drugs while suffering from heart disease.

Paying tribute to her son, Jayne said: “Jamie was very well-loved. Colleagues have told me what a great leader he was. He was also kind, considerate and had a cracking sense of humour which I miss.

“His death has totally changed me and we miss him daily but some good for others has come out of it. What we are now doing is celebrating Jamie’s life. It’s not how he died; it’s how he lived.”


  1. ^ Torquay (
  2. ^ Torbay (
  3. ^ Click here to join our WhatsApp group (
  4. ^ Privacy Notice (