I recently discovered this photo of John Madden of 17th Manchesters. He was a graduate of Pembroke College, Cambridge who taught at Merchiston Castle School prior to WWI and played cricket for Edinburgh Nomads. He won the Distinguished Service Order at Montauban on 1st July 1916 for “For conspicuous gallantry in action. When the leading waves of attack were wavering after losing most of their officers, he pushed forward, rallied the men and led them into the village. Later he organised and led a party which repelled a counter attack.” He was also Mentioned in Despatches in January 1917. John was wounded at some stage and spent time in 3rd Bttn at Cleethorpes. He was a Major a the end of hostilities.
Post-war John worked at the Ministry of War with munitions research. He was Commissioned again in WWII, when two of his sons were killed.
The image comes from the Bond of Sacrifice collection of IWM – confirming that photos in these records are not necessarily casualties. John Madden was 28 years old at the time of the photo. The clarity and focus of his eyes tell us something of his experience.