On 18 July 1929 Lady Constance Madden launched the Navy’s latest warship HMS Exeter, a York class cruiser, at Devonport Dockyard. Lady Madden’s father, Sir Charles Cayzer was a distinguished shipowner and her husband, Sir Charles Madden, 1st Baronet, was Admiral of the Fleet – he retired the following year as First Sea Lord. A very distinguished naval commander, Madden had been Earl Jellicoe’s Chief of Staff at the Battle of Jutland.
Charles Edward Madden, their son, was born on 16 June 1906, and with an impressive family background (Jellicoe incidentally was his uncle) was also destined for long naval service, joining the Navy, despite a preference for a career as an artist, at the age of thirteen, in 1920. He graduated from Dartmouth at a ceremony in which his father, who was Commander in Chief of the Home Fleet at that time, handed out the prizes. In 1935 he inherited his father’s baronetcy and among his wartime duties Madden had a spell as second in command on HMS Warspite.
Gradually rising up through the ranks becoming a vice admiral before being appointed Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth, for two years, he became Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet himself in 1963 – forty years after his father. A modest and likeable man, he died, at the age of 94, on 23 April (St George’s Day) 2001.