The AIF Project

Maitland MADGE

Regimental number3483
Date of birth17 March 1901
Place of birthCooktown, Cape York, Queensland
ReligionMethodist
OccupationLabourer
AddressHarcourt Street, Teneriffe, Brisbane, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinFather, R Madge, West End, Townsville, Queensland
Enlistment date4 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name15th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/32/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A48 Seang Bee on 2 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll15th Battalion
FateReturned to Australia 9 February 1919
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Richard (Englishman) and Ella (Indigenous) MADGE
Medals

Military Medal

'These men [MADGE and 4580 Sydney MAY] are recommended for conspicuous bravery while acting as messenger during operations north west of POZIERES from 5th to 11th August, 1916. These men were continually moving to and from Company and Battalion Headquarters under intense H.E. artillery barrage. The telephone lines were being continually broken, and the only method of communication was then by messenger. They showed an utter disregard of their own safety, and an admirable contempt for danger, and it was entirely owing to their self-sacrifice that the operations were so well supported by our own artillery and that Battalion and Brigade Headquarters were so closely in touch with progress of operations. Our losses in messengers were very heavy. There were several instances of these messengers being blown up by H.E. shells exploding near them, and some of them were rendered semi unconscious from shell shock, but after a short rest returned to their dangerous work.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62
Date: 19 April 1917

Family/military connectionsFirst Indigenous soldier to be awarded the Military Medal in the First World War.
Other detailsRe-enlisted in the Second World War, 17 June 1940, as QX1836 Pte Maitland Madge and served in the 2/26th Bn, 8th Division. Taken prisoner at Singapore and sent to work on the Thai-Burma railway. Died of dysentery and malaria after returning to Singapore.
Date of death7 June 1944
Place of burialKranji War Cemetery, Singapore

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