|Birth: ||Feb. 14, 1924|
New South Wales, Australia
|Death: ||Nov. 6, 1951, North Korea|
Horace William (Slim) Madden was born on 14th February 1924 at Cronulla, Sydney, he was the son of Charles Bernard Madden and Pearl Ellen, née Clemson. When World War 2 broke out, Horace enlisted on and was posted to the 114th Australian General Hospital, Goulburn, NSW. He transferred to the Australian Imperial Force in August 1943 and served in New Guinea with the 8th Field Ambulance and on Bougainville with the 5th Motor Ambulance Convoy Platoon. His was later stationed on Morotai before being sent to Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force. He discharge in Sydney on 2nd June 1947. Madden got a job as a male nurse at Morisset Mental Hospital for about two years and then as a moulder. On 19th August 1950 he again enlisted for service in Korea with the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.
Joining 3RAR as a driver in November 1950, Madden volunteered to become a linesman in the Signals Platoon which worked in below-freezing temperatures to maintain communications with forward elements of the battalion. On the evening of 23rd April 1951 the Chinese attacked 3RAR's positions near Kapyong. Concussed by enemy fire, Madden was surrounded on the following day and forced to surrender. Corporal Bob Parker and Private Keith Gwyther were also captured during the battle. For the next few days the three of them were forced to recover wounded Chinese soldiers and were forced to exposed themselves to attacks by United Nations Command aircraft. Although suffering the effects of concussion, he recovered quickly and helped Australian and other U.N. prisoners of war on their arduous march to the notorious 'Bean Camp'. He showed defiance and refused to co-operate with the Chinese. They beat him repeatedly and subjected him to other forms of maltreatment, but he remained cheerful and optimistic. His health deteriorated, and his condition was worsened by his willingness to share what little food he had with his mates who were in a worse state than he. Madden was among the sick and wounded prisoners moved to 'the Caves' at Kangdong. In late October the Chinese forced them to march to Pingchong-Ni, a distance of some 140 miles (225 km). Madden collapsed and had to be transported by cart. Although he survived the journey, he died of malnutrition sometime between late November and early December 1951. After the war his remains were recovevered and reburied in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery at Busan.
Pte Gwyther said of him - He was a real hero and didn't know it. He became a sort of legend. He didn't try to be like that it was just the way he was made. Nothing could make him co-operate with the enemy'. In 1955 Madden was posthumously awarded the George Cross. Parker and Gwyther had made repeated attempts to escape before their release in August 1953; both of them were Mentioned in Dispatches (MID). The courage shown by these three Australian soldiers in the face of terrible hardships and threats of death was sustained by their indomitable spirit.
HE WAS ALSO AWARDED THE PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION FOR THE BATTLE OF KAPYONG.
H.W. MADDEN GC
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT
6TH NOVEMBER 1951 AGE 27
Note: Remains were recovered in 1955 (Operation Glory) and reburied (original burial at Jonchang)
United Nations Memorial Cemetery
Busan Metropolitan City, South Korea
Plot: Location : 35-9-2 Grave No : 2978
Maintained by: John Winterbotham
Originally Created by: S. Rich
Record added: May 17, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 69979097