RAMC Officers
Of the Malta Garrison
Charles Dodgson
1833 – 1910

458 Surgeon General Charles Dodgson Madden

CB (Mil 1896) QHS (1895) LRCSI (1854)

1 Aug 1833 [Kilkenny] – 5 Jan 1910 [St Leonards on Sea]

Charles D Madden
Surgeon General Charles Dodgson Madden CB QHS (RAMC/37)

Surgeon General Charles Dodgson Madden was the youngest son of the Rev. Samuel Madden of Kilkenny. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He qualified as a Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland in 1854 and entered the Army Medical Department as an Acting Assistant Surgeon on 14 December 1854.

In 1855, Assistant Surgeon Madden served in the Crimean Campaign with the 39th Regiment and was present before Sebastopol. He received the Crimea medal with clasp. He also took part in the suppression of the Indian Mutiny (1857–1859). He was with the 43rd Light Infantry in the Saugor Field Division from 24 December 1857, and in the Field Division under Colonel Primrose in the latter part of 1859 (medal). He was with the 43rd at the surrender of Kirwee.

In the Abyssinian Campaign (1867–68), he served as surgeon of the 4th (The King's Own Royal) Regiment and was Field Surgeon of the 1st Brigade at the action of Arogee and the capture of Magdala. He was mentioned in despatches and received special promotion to the rank of Surgeon Major for valuable services rendered during the campaign. Later he served as Principal Medical Officer for three years with the Madras Army; for four years with the Government of India; at Malta; and at the Royal Victoria Hospital Netley.

Surgeon General Charles Dodgson Madden retired in 1893 and two years later was appointed Honorary Surgeon to Queen Victoria.

Service Record

14 Dec 1854 Acting Assistant Surgeon.

9 Feb 1855 Assistant Surgeon 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot.

18 Jan–20 May 1855 Served in the Crimean War. Was at the siege and fall of Sebastopol.

31 Aug 1855 Assistant Surgeon 43rd (Monmouthshire Light Infantry) Regiment.

24 Dec 1857–1859 Served in the suppression of the Indian Mutiny with the Saugor Field Division under Col Primrose in the latter part of 1859. He was present with the 43rd at the surrender of Kirwee.

26 Oct 1860 Staff Assistant Surgeon.

1861–1863 On duty at Chatham.

4 Aug 1863 Marriage settlement between Charles Dodgson Madden, staff assistant surgeon in Her Majesty's Army, based at Chatham, and Alice Lillias Maclean of Chatham in Kent, spinster.

8 Jan 1864 Assistant Surgeon Royal Artillery.

5 Oct 1867 Appointed Staff Surgeon.

4 Mar 1868 Became Surgeon 1st/4th (The King's Own Royal) Regiment on promotion from 6 Royal Artillery. He served as the medical officer of 1st/4th Foot until 1873, when he moved to the Staff at Netley.

Served in the Abyssinian Campaign, (1867-68), with the 4th Regiment. Was present as Field Surgeon 1st Bde at Arogee and the capture of Magdala. He was advanced to the rank of surgeon-major for his distinguished service during the campaign (Gazette 14 Aug 1868).3

15 Aug 1868 Surgeon-Major 4th (The King's Own Royal) Regiment.

1874–1876 On duty at Netley.

1876–1881 On duty in Madras (Bangalore).

May 1881 Left Madras for Aldershot.

28 June 1876 Deputy Surgeon-General.

Jan 1882 Returned to Madras.

7 May 1882 Surgeon General.

1885–1889 Principal Medical Officer Madras. Director Indian Medical Service.

3 Dec 1891 Arrived from the Army Medical School, Netley as Acting PMO.

13 Aug 1892 To England on leave.

30 Sep 1892 Returned to Malta.

2 Apr 1893 Ordered to return to England on leave, so as to make way for his successor Surgeon-Colonel Henry Foljambe Paterson.

Paterson had arrived suddenly at Malta from Hong Kong on 2 April to take over from Madden, who was not due to retire until August. Madden refused to leave Malta as he was not prepared to forgo a free house, charge pay, and allowances amounting altogether to some £300 a year - not for any real or supposed good of the service, but simply to oblige the authorities.1 (Charge pay was additional pay for officers in charge of a general or other hospital. It varied according to the number of hospital beds from 2s 6d a day if in charge of a least 50 beds, to a maximum 10 shillings a day for a hospital of 300 beds).

The presence in Malta of two surgeon-major-generals, with Paterson having no duties to perform for three months, became a subject for the House of Commons. On 21st April 1893, Mr Campbell Bannerman, Secretary of State for War, made the following statement in the House of Commons: Last January the question of the succession to the post of Principal Medical Officer at Malta had to be considered, as Surgeon-Major-General Madden, was due to retire on account of age on 1 August.

Unusual difficulty occurred, for of the surgeon-major-generals on the roster for foreign service, one stood for immediate retirement, and two were ineligible by age. This brought the succession down to an officer who had only been appointed a few months ago to medical charge at Aldershot, and it was thought undesirable to disturb him in that important charge. Under the circumstances, it was thought best that Surgeon-Major-General Paterson, who was returning from Hong Kong, should succeed Surgeon-Major-General Madden, who was ordered home for the completion of his service.

The Governor of Malta represented that this arrangement was inconvenient to Surgeon-Major-General Madden, and the Commander-in-Chief decided, as no additional expense to the public was involved, to allow him to complete his term at Malta. As a consequence, there were for two or three months two medical officers of the highest grade at Malta, but one was junior to and under command of the other; and, moreover, after his service at Hong Kong, he was entitled to leave of absence, so that no inconvenience was likely to arise from the exceptional circumstances.2

1 Aug 1893 Placed on the retired pay.

27 Nov 1895 Appointed Honorary Surgeon to Queen Victoria (QHS).

20 May 1896 Appointed Commander of the Order of the Bath (Military Division).

1897 Received the Diamond Jubilee medal.

1902 Received the King's Coronation medal.

5 Jan 1910 Surgeon General Charles Dodgson Madden died at St Leonards on Sea, aged 76 years. He had been in receipt of a reward for distinguished service granted to him in 1908.3