Sir Charles Madden, 1st Baronet

Sir Charles Madden, 1st Baronet

Infobox Military Person
name= Sir Charles Madden, Bt
lived= 5 September 1862 – 5 June 1935
placeofbirth=Gillingham, Kent

caption= Sir Charles Madden when he was a Vice-Admiral
allegiance= flagicon|United Kingdom United Kingdom
serviceyears= 1875-1930
rank= Admiral of the Fleet
commands= First Sea Lord
battles= World War I
awards= GCB, OM, GCVO, KCMG

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Charles Edward Madden, 1st Baronet, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCMG (5 September 1862 – 5 June 1935) was Commander-in-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet during World War I and he held the rank of Admiral in the service of the Royal Navy. He was most famous as the British First Sea Lord from 1927 to 1930. He was born on 5th September 1862 and died on the 5th June in 1935.

Early life

He was born at Brompton, Gillingham, Kent, on 5 September 1862, the second son of Captain John William Madden of the 4th (King's Own) regiment and his wife, Emily. He entered the Britannia as a naval cadet in 1875 and on promotion to Midshipman in 1877 was sent to the Alexandra, the flagship of Geoffrey Hornby in the Mediterranean. In 1880 he went to the Ruby, a corvette in the East Indies squadron, for two and a half years, being promoted sub-lieutenant in 1881.

Soon after promotion to Lieutenant in 1884 he became interested in torpedoes and spent two years in the torpedo school HMS Vernon and a further six as a staff officer. In 1892 he was appointed torpedo lieutenant of the Royal Sovereign, flagship of the channel squadron, and in 1893 resumed his post as staff officer of the Vernon until promoted commander in 1896. After three years at sea as commander of the cruiser Terrible and the battleship Caesar he returned to the Vernon in 1899 for a further two years, being promoted Captain in 1901. A year later he became, for two years, flag captain in the Good Hope (cruiser squadron) to Admiral Fawkes, who had been his captain in the Terrible. During this service he took Joseph Chamberlain on his memorable visit to South Africa at the end of 1902.

1905 – 1911

He married on 28 June 1905 Constance Winifred third and youngest daughter of Sir Charles Cayzer, first baronet, and sister of Countess Jellicoe; and they had two sons and four daughters including Joan Madden and Conn Madden [ [] Entry for Sir Charles Madden] (who married Neil Brodie Henderson, son of Sir Brodie Haldane Henderson, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers). In February 1905 Captain H. B. Jackson was transferred to the Admiralty as third sea lord and controller. Jackson was the greatest scientific naval officer of his generation, and asked for Charles Madden, now a leading torpedo specialist, to be his naval assistant. It was the time of the great reforms of Sir John Fisher in fleet redistribution, dockyard administration, and shipbuilding policy, and Madden soon became one of his most trusted instruments in carrying them out.

In December 1904 he secured his appointment as a member of the epoch-making ships design committee which produced the Dreadnought and Invincible designs for battleships and armoured battle cruisers). A year later he made Madden his own naval assistant, a post which he held until August 1907. He eventually returned to sea as captain of the Dreadnought and as chief of staff to Sir Francis Bridgeman, commander-in-chief of the Home Fleet. In December 1908 he was brought back to Whitehall, first as naval private secretary to Reginald McKenna until January 1910 and then as Fourth Sea Lord until December 1911.

Admiral and First Sea Lord

He became Rear Admiral in April 1911. He commanded the first division, Home Fleet during 1912, the 3rd cruiser squadron during 1913, and then the 2nd cruiser squadron until the eve of the outbreak of the First World War. When Admiral Sir John Jellicoe was appointed to take over the command of the Grand Fleet he asked for his wife's brother-in-law, Madden, who had been designated to rejoin the Board of Admiralty as third sea lord and controller, to accompany him as chief of staff. Madden was accordingly sent to the dreadnought "Iron Duke", Jellicoe's flagship, on 4 August 1914 and remained until Jellicoe became First Sea Lord in November 1916, having been promoted acting Vice Admiral in June 1915 and confirmed in that rank immediately after the Battle of Jutland.

On the change of chief command in 1916 Madden was appointed to the command of the 1st Battle Squadron, as second in command of the fleet, with the acting rank of Admiral (flag in the Marlborough and later in the Revenge), and retained it until April 1919, having been confirmed as admiral in February of that year. When Sir David Beatty hauled down his flag as commander-in-chief of the Grand Fleet and the war organization of the navy was broken up, Madden was appointed to the command of the newly constituted Atlantic Fleet (flag in the Queen Elizabeth) which he held from 1919 to 1922.

In the autumn of 1919 Madden was created a baronet and granted £10,000 by a vote of parliament. He was at once appointed first and principal naval aide-de-camp to the king and was promoted Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy) in July 1924. He served in the 1920s as chairman of the committee on the functions and training of Royal Marines, and in 1925, under the chairmanship of Lord Chelmsford, on that for the list of executive officers of the navy. He then retired to Broadstone, Forest Row, Sussex, until July 1927, when, on the recommendation of W. C. Bridgeman he was selected to succeed Lord Beatty as First Sea Lord.

Honours and last years

Madden was awarded numerous honours and decorations. He was mentioned in dispatches for service at Suez in 1883, and was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in 1907, Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in January 1916, and Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) for his services at Jutland. He received the rank of commander of the "Légion d'honneur". The Russian Order of St Anne, the Military Order of Savoy, and the Japanese Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun were conferred upon him in 1917. He was admitted to the rank of grand officer of the "Légion d'honneur" in 1918, and at the end of the war he was promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) and given the Belgian Order of Leopold, the French "Croix de Guerre" (bronze palms), and the Chinese Order of the Striped Tiger. He was promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) on 23 July 1920 and was appointed to the Order of Merit in 1931. The honorary degree of LLD was conferred upon him by Cambridge University in 1919, and that of DCL by Oxford University in 1928. He died at 29 Wimpole Street, St Marylebone, London, on 5 June 1935, and was succeeded as second baronet by his eldest son who in turn became an Admiral in the Royal Navy and served as its Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet.



* Heathcote, T. A. (2002). "The British Admirals of the Fleet 1734 - 1995". Pen & Sword Ltd. ISBN 0 85052 835 6
*Murfett, Malcolm H.(1995). "The First Sea Lords from Fisher to Mountbatten". Westport. ISBN 0-275-94231-7
* [ Obituary: The Times]

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