Joseph Munro (Joe) MADDEN


MADDEN, Joseph Munro

Service Number: QX28452
Enlisted: 13 January 1942, Toowoomba, Queensland
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 61st Infantry Battalion AMF
Born: Brisbane, Queensland, 14 November 1919
Home Town: Toowoomba, Toowoomba, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea, 29 August 1942, aged 22 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Panel 6
Tree Plaque: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Port Moresby (Bomana) Memorial, Rocky Creek 61st Infantry Battalion Queensland Cameron Highlanders
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World War 2 Service

13 Jan 1942: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN QX28452, Toowoomba, Queensland
14 Jan 1942: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN QX28452
25 Aug 1942: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN QX28452, 61st Infantry Battalion AMF, Papua New Guinea - Milne Bay
29 Aug 1942: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN QX28452, 61st Infantry Battalion AMF, Papua New Guinea - Milne Bay

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Biography contributed by Jennifer Munro

Joseph Munro Madden was my father's cousin. We have held his Pacific Star medal with pride alongside my Grandfather's (Joseph John Munro) WWI and WWII war medals.

My father, James Meiklejohn Munro, passed away in 2012 and so we had lost touch with the story of Joseph Munro Madden and his brave effort to save our country in WWII. Our current research makes us proud to be related.  

Joe Madden's parents, Daniel and Isabella (nee Munro) Madden arrived in Brisbane in 1914 with their baby daughter Annie Hunter, from Glasgow, Scotland.  Joe Madden was born 14/11/1919 in Brisbane, where he was raised.  His grandparents had a family home known as 'Anniesland' in Shakespeare St, Bulimba, only a few streets back from the Brisbane River.  Here tragedy struck his young life when his father, Daniel Madden, accidently drowned at the Bulimba wharf in a boating accident on 18/2/1926.  His sister Annie was 12 and he was just 6 years old.

Joe Madden's mother, Isabella, remarried on 26/12/1931 to Gustav Rudow.  Joe was still just 12 so would have gone to live with them both,  initially in Goomburra Allora. By the time of Joe's enlistment, however, on 13/1/1942 their home address was 2 Laurel Lane, Toowoomba.

Joe Madden enlisted in January 1942 but by the end of August the same year he had been killed in action in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea.  Such a brief service record but one that contributed to a most important win for the Australian forces.  After enlisting he spent time training in Redbank with the 11th Training Battalion of the Australian Military Forces.  However, after a short time in Hughenden and Townsville he was transferred on 17/7/1942 to the 61st Infantry Battalion, now famous for it's heroic efforts in Milne Bay in August 1942. He embarked on the Swartenherndt on the 30/7/1942 heading in for battle in Milne Bay disembarking on the 2nd of August.  He was killed in action on 29th August 1942.  

Joe was about 10 years older than my father, so this brave service to save our country and the profound sense of loss within the family had a huge impact on him.  My father's father, Joseph John Munro, was also serving in WWII but within Australia, although he had seen active service in WWI, along with his brother Wiliam Meiklejohn Munro.  Yet they both came home.  Before my father died in 2012 and dementia had taken hold in the years prior, my father remembered his cousin Joe Madden every ANZAC day when his medal would be brought out and stories told.  One such story was how he remembered the then long journey into the Brisbane city centre with his father from their home in Richlands every year for the ANZAC day parade.  The pride in Joe Madden's service, along with his own father's and uncle's was instilled in him.

Just recently, I've been pursuing family history research and it is with much pride and honour that my brothers and I have been able to reconnect with Joe Madden's life story and service to his country.