Major JOHN MADDEN, 2nd Armoured Battalion IRISH GUARDS
From Daily Telegraph: [b]HERO WITH AN ‘IRISH SIXTH SENSE’[/b] [b]OBITUARY[/b] Major John “The Jumper” Madden, who has died aged 82, lost his leg in a selfless action that saved the lives of officers of his squadron during the Battle of Normandy in 1944. Madden was commanding No. 2 Squadron of the 2nd Armoured Battalion, Irish Guards. He performed with distinction at the capture of Cagny (near Caen); in the attack on Boelle Ridge, in the night advance across country to La Marvindiere; and on Le Busq Ridge, where he was wounded on August 7th, 1944. In the Cagny battle one of his squadron’s tanks destroyed a German Tiger by ramming it, a tactic more suitable to naval than land warfare. [See under Gallantry: John Gorman, M.C., James Baron, M.M.] At Le Busq, in an apparently quiet moment when the squadron officers had gathered round his tank for a sociable chat, he suddenly yelled: “Go, go away, quickly.” They had moved less than 50 yards when six Nebelwerfer shells fell on the spot they had just vacated. The exploding shells inflicted wounds that led to the loss of Madden’s leg. As there had been no other indication of impending danger, there was considerable speculation that Madden possessed “an Irish sixth sense.” John William Ryder Madden was born in Ireland, on June 1, 1913, the son of a barrister who became the Director of the Great Northern Railway. His mother was a member of the Tate family of sugar and gallery fame. Young John was educated at Eton and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he narrowly missed a rowing blue. Commissioned into the Irish Guards, he served in Palestine in the 1930s. In 1940 he commanded No. 2 Company, Irish Guards, which rescued Queen Wilhelmina and her government from the Hook of Holland. His squadron [?] subsequently took part in the defence of a large number of Allied soldiers to evade the Panzers and reach England. After returning to Britain Madden commenced training for tank warfare, a skill at which he had a particular aptitude and in which his enthusiasm and innovativeness made him extremely popular. When the loss of his leg made military life impossible, Madden read widely on forestry and took a course at Cirencester College. He then applied modern techniques to his estate at Hilton park, near Clones, Co. Monaghan, with such success that neighbouring land-owners were soon turning to him for advice. He started a Hereford herd at Hilton, and was made President of the Irish Hereford Book Society. This was soon followed by the addition of a Friesian herd and the planting of many acres of Dutch bulbs. He was appointed Secretary of the Royal Dublin Society. In 1983 he moved to Pembridge, Herefordshire, to be nearer to his family. A man of strong Christian faith Madden served on the Clogher Diocesan Synod for many years and was diocesan lay representative at the World Council of Churches. In spite of the loss of his leg and other wounds he continued to be active: shooting, sailing and stripping down and reassembling motor cares with beneficial results. He travelled widely, encouraged and fed wildlife around his homes and applied himself to practical projects with such vigour that he acquired the nickname “The Jumper,” although everything he did was meticulously planned in advance. He is survived by his wife, Nita, whom he married in 1937, and their three sons and one daughter.