Maurice MADDISON 1921 – 1943

1041441 Sergeant Wireless Operator/Air Gunner Maurice Maddison, 70 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve died 5 September 1943 aged 22.  He is buried at Minturno War Cemetery, Italy [1] and commemorated on Etherley War Memorial.

Family Details

Maurice Maddison was born in 1921,[2] the son of Robert and Mary Jane Maddison.  In 1938 Maurice Maddison married Irene Howe.[3]  In 1939, Robert and Mary lived at 157A Toft Hill where Robert worked as a heavy goods motor vehicle driver.  Two others lived at this property but their records are “officially closed”.  Maurice is not recorded as living there.[4]

Service Details [5]

The service details of Sergeant Maurice Maddison have not been researched.  He served with the RAF Volunteer Reserve but the date he enlisted has not been confirmed.  He served with 70 Squadron as a wireless operator/air gunner.

No. 70 Squadron was a heavy bomber squadron, firstly stationed in North Africa then Italy.  At the outbreak of the Second World War the squadron was in operation as bomber-transport [Valentia] and had just moved to Egypt after 18 years spent in Iraq.  After Italy entered the war, the squadron converted to Vickers Wellington bombers and on 18 September 1939, it began operations over the Western Desert.  The squadron retained its Wellingtons throughout the war in North Africa, Libya and Tunisia.  During 1941, the squadron was also involved in the fight against the pro-Axis revolt in Iraq and in the campaign to conquer Vichy-occupied Syria.  With the collapse of the Axis resistance in North Africa and the successful invasions of Sicily and Italy, the squadron moved to mainland Italy, Foggia, in December 1943, carrying out operations against targets in Italy and the Balkans.  It remained there until the end of the war when it returned to the Middle East in October 1945.

Over the course of the war, the squadron was based at the following locations:

  • October 1937 – August 1939: Habbaniya, Iraq
  • August 1939 – June 1940: Helwan, Egypt
  • June 1940 – September 1940: Heliopolis, Egypt
  • September 1940 – January 1942: Kabrit, Egypt
  • January 1942 – June 1942: LG75 [?][6]
  • June 1942 – November 1942: Abu Sueir, Egypt
  • November 1942 – January 1943: LG.140 [?][7]
  • January 1943: Benina, Libya
  • January 1943 – February 1943: El Magrun, Libya
  • February 1943: Gardabia East, Libya
  • February 1943 – May 1943: Gardabia West, libya
  • May 1943 – November 1943: Kairouan/Temmar, Tunisia
  • November 1943 – December 1943: Djedeida, Tunisia
  • December 1943 – October 1945: Cerignola, Italy

70 Squadron Record of Events diary inform that for the night of 4/5 September 1943, 10 Wellingtons left the airfield at Kairouan/Temmar, Tunisia for targets in Italy at Grazzanise airfield. [8] The airfield was located about 19 miles [30 kms] northwest of Naples.  Allied bombers repeatedly attacked it in August and from 4 to 6 September 1943.[9] Of the 10 bombers which were involved in the raid of the 4/5 September, 2 failed to return. One of which was Wellington X “E”.  There was a crew of 5:

  • Wright L.R. Captain
  • Wilkins R.C. Navigator
  • Maddison M. W/Operator
  • Dobson J.R. Air Bomber
  • Bergman L. Rear Gunner

The flight record details: [10]

“Other aircraft report aircraft falling in flames; hit ground and burnt, target area.  4 parachutes seen to open.”

It can be concluded that Sgt. M. Maddison did not eject from the Wellingotn and went down with the aircraft.

8 September 1943: The Allies captured the airfield after expelling the Italian Infantry Division , “Pasubio”.[11]

Burial [12]

Sergeant Maurice Maddison RAFVR is buried at grave reference 7.D.21 Minturno War Cemetery, Provincia di Latina, Lazio, Italy.[13]  He was previously buried elsewhere and was reinterred 22 February 1945 when graves from isolated sites were concentrated here.


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] England & Wales Birth Index 1916-2007 Vol.10a p.610 1921Q2 Auckland

[3] England & Wales Marriage Index 1916-2005 Vol.10a p.495 1938Q3 Auckland

[4] 1939 England & Wales Register

[5] &

[6] Do not know what this means

[7] Do not know what this means

[8] National Archives AIR-27-616-18


[10] National Archives AIR-27-616-18


[12] CWGC

[13] Find a Grave Index