Alfred Madden was the son of the late Mr and Mrs Charles Williamson Madden, of Allahabad India. (CWGC)
On the website ”British India Office Births and Baptisms 1786 -1947” available on Find My Past, there is an entry for Alfred Burke Madden. He was born on 25th August 1897, and baptized at All Saints Church, Allahabad, Bengal. His father was Charles Williamson Madden, whose occupation was described as “clerk of works”. His mother was Anne Georgiana Madden, and their address was 6, Khushru, Bagh Road, Allahabad. This website gives details of six other children of Charles and Anne, ranging in date from 1886 until 1901, including Robert Murray Madden, born 1889 Arthur Lloyd Madden, born 1895, and Eileen May Madden, born 1901.
In the records for Indian Deaths there is an entry for their mother, Anne Georgiana Madden. She had been born on April 16th 1869, and died in 1908, age 39.
No further entries could be found for the family in the Indian records, nor in the 1901 or the 1911 Censuses for England and Wales, however at some point, at least some of them must have come to Britain. There is an entry in the Prestatyn Weekly dated June 23rd 1917
Mr Robert Madden, nephew of Miss Madden, Rhostrevor, Prestatyn, has arrived in this country from Chile in order to join the Army. He has been granted a commission in the Royal Engineers. Two of his brothers are already with the forces.
One of these brothers is very likely to be our soldier, Alfred, and the other his brother Arthur. Sadly, Alfred was to die just a few months later.
There are not many military references for Alfred, and no service records have survived for him. The website Soldiers who died in the Great War confirms the known details listed above, and gives the information that he enlisted at Birmingham into the 1st – 5th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, but previously he had been number 3494 in the Warwickshire Yeomanry.
There is a card for Alfred in the Roll of Honour in the Hawarden Archives, which gives his period of service as one year and eight months. This would indicate that he enlisted early in 1916. His address is given as Rhostrevor, Victoria Road, Prestatyn. There is an added detail given, that he was “killed in action near Ypres.” The card is signed M .E. Madden
In the archives for soldiers from Prestatyn who survived the war, there is a card for Alfred’s brother Robert Murray Madden, who was born in India in 1889, and as we have seen arrived in June 1917 to join the Army. The address is the same, Rhostrevor, Victoria Road. This card is also signed by M. E. Madden, probably their aunt. Robert is also named in the list of absent voters for Prestatyn in 1919.
In the national archives of Ireland, Wills section, available on Find My Past, there is an entry for the will of Marion Elizabeth Madden, spinster, late of Rhostrevor, Prestatyn, North Wales. It states ‘date of grant 26th Nov 1920’. This is Alfred’s aunt.
There is an entry for Alfred in the List of Soldier’s Effects, which is money owing to deceased soldiers. The entry is cramped and hard to read, but seems to be that on 26th August 1918, Miss Eileen M. Madden received the sum of £4 18s 4d, and later on 5th January 1920, a further War gratuity of £8 10s. There is also a reference to C.M.A. 8th Lucknow, India, stating “C.P. to re-credit effects to cashier, National & Provincial Union Bank Ltd.” C. M. A. stands for Corps of Military Accountants, and C.P. for Command Post. So there was undoubtedly still a connection with India. It is likely that Miss M. E. Madden is Alfred’s aunt. There are missing years in the history of Alfred and his family, covering how they came from India, joining the Army, and then living in Prestatyn. Can anyone help fill these gaps?