Menu ☰
Liverpool Pals header
Search Pals

Search
Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916


CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916


Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916


Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916


Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 24596 William Andrew Madden


  • Age: 29
  • From: Liverpool
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 17th Btn
  • D.O.W Tuesday 25th June 1918
  • Commemorated at: Niederzwehren Cem Cassel Germany
    Panel Ref: IV.K.18

William Andrew Madden was born on 5th February 1889, and baptised on the 10th in St. John’s RC Church, Liverpool.  His parents William Madden and Ann Birmingham had married on 27th November 1884 in the same church.  His father was born in Tipperary, Ireland and his mother in Liverpool. Their first born child, John Joseph, died in infancy.  William had two younger sisters, Annie and Catherine.

In 1891 they are living at 40 Lambeth Road, Kirkdale. His father is a waterman (barge). William is 2. They also have a boarder.  

They are at the same address in 1901. His father works for Liverpool Corporation. William is 12, Annie is 9, and Catherine is 5. They have three male boarders.

His parents and sisters are still in Lambeth Road in 1911. His father is a turncock for the Corporation. Sister Ann, 19, is a shop assistant; Catherine is 15, at home. William appears on crew lists (giving his address at 40 Lambeth Road) in 1912 as an assistant cook on the “Lake Champlain”, which was a steamship operated by the Canadian Pacific Line on the Liverpool to Quebec run.  

His service record has not survived so the dates and details of his service are unknown. We do know that William enlisted in the 17th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 24596, and after training in the UK, arrived in France on 16th December 1915. William would have seen action with his battalion during the months of the Battle of the Somme, and later at Arras. In May 1917 the battalion moved to the dreaded Ypres Salient and in July took part in the Third Battle of Ypres (also known as Passchendaele). In the New Year the battalion moved south to St. Quentin in readiness for the German Spring Offensive, which cost the battalion many casualties. Then in early April they were back in the Ypres Salient. On the 9th April the Germans opened an offensive, later referred to as the Battle of the Lys. By the 25th April the battalion had taken up positions of readiness in the Voormezeele sector.

According to the battalion War Diary, on the night of the 27th, at 8.30 p.m. they moved to the line to relieve 4th Bn, relief completed about 1 a.m.

28th – At about 1 p.m. a company of composite battalion gave way on the left of our line and the Bosche penetrated from the Canal Bank to the left of my battalion front, which position he maintained despite 5 hours fighting. My reserve company was ordered to counter-attack and restore the position at 7.45 p.m. but enemy laid down a barrage at 7.43 a.m. and the counter attack was unable to proceed. The enemy bombardment lasted until 10.30 p.m. and I then organised a defensive flank.

29th – At 3.30 a.m. heavy enemy bombardment opened, followed later (9.00 a.m.) by enemy attack and our line was forced back to G.H.Q.1 where I organised and held on to the position. The enemy got through on both flanks practically surrounding 2 of my companies. ‘A’ company was actually surrounded and after severe fighting were captured.

The line stands firm and by the end of the day the Battle of the Lys is over.  Total casualties 27th – 30th April:

Officers: 2  Killed, 1 Wounded, 2 Missing

Other Ranks: 17 Killed in Action, 80 Wounded, 1 Gassed, 2 Wounded & Missing, 177 Missing

Private William Madden was one of those Missing/Captured.

Information learned from International Red Cross POW records reveals that William was captured on 29th April 1918 at Voormezeele, shot in right upper arm and left shoulder; he served in ‘C’ Company; his date of birth was 5/2/1889; he was 29 years old and he was a labourer by trade.

He died on the morning of 25th June 1918 in the POW Hospital, Beyreuth as a result of erysipelas (bacterial infection of the skin) and heart failure.  Beyreuth is nearly 400 miles east of where William was wounded and captured. It must have been an excruciating journey in his condition.  His date of death reported on the German records was officially accepted by the Army. 

He was originally buried at Bayreuth in the POW plot at grave 9672  but was reburied at Niederzwehren. 

Evidently, William’s family did not learn of his death until October. They placed a notice in the Liverpool Echo on 21st October 1918: 

 “June 25, died of wounds in hospital, at Beyreuth, Germany, after three years’ active service, Private W. A. Madden, K.L.R., only son of William and Ann Madden, 5 Croxteth Road, Bootle.”

His personal belongings were sent to his parents and his pension was awarded to his mother.

William is commemorated on St. Elizabeth of Hungary RC church, Litherland, and Litherland Roll of Honour.

 

Killed On This Day.

(105 Years this day)
Tuesday 1st August 1916.
Sgt 17327 John Henry Flockhart
37 years old

(105 Years this day)
Tuesday 1st August 1916.
Pte 22813 John Porteous
26 years old

(105 Years this day)
Tuesday 1st August 1916.
Pte 30278 John Woods
30 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 1st August 1917.
Pte 49328 Tempest Anderson
19 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 1st August 1917.
Pte 51960 Geoffrey Baker
19 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 1st August 1917.
Pte 59287 Thomas Baker
23 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 1st August 1917.
L/Cpl 49138 Harry Bull
20 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 1st August 1917.
Pte 22656 Henry Connor
26 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 1st August 1917.
Pte 235221 Hyman Davies

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 1st August 1917.
Pte 57020 William Edwin Fulcher
23 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 1st August 1917.
Pte 22089 Leonard Gibson
21 years old

(104 Years this day)
Wednesday 1st August 1917.
Pte 33102 Fred Gidney
30 years old

A total of 26 Pals where killed on this day. View All