John Madden-Gaskell, was a debonair batsman, born on St. David’s Day near Pontypool and educated at Haileybury who played once for Glamorgan during 1922. He subsequently became an Army Major was amongst the key military figures who oversaw the provisions for the Allied troops involved in D-Day in June 1944.
After leaving school, John moved to live and work in Penarth for whom he also played rugby and cricket. He earned a reputation as a cavalier batsman, who loved to attack either fast or slow bowling and this assertive approach led to his selection in Glamorgan’s away match against Yorkshire in 1922. It proved to be his only game for the Welsh county as the following year he moved to Somerset to set-up a business in Taunton, selling fridges and radios, as well as hiring out public address systems for outdoor events
John continued to play cricket and rugby for Taunton, and was chosen to play for Somerset on nine occasions between 1928 and 1930. During his first season in the West Country, John further enhanced his reputation with innings of 42 and 63 against a Nottinghamshire attack which boasted Harold Larwood and Bill Voce, with the Welshman repeatedly driving the England fast bowlers on the up through mid-off and mid-on.
John joined the Royal Artillery following the outbreak of the Second World War. He was elevated to the rank of Major and Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General, and in this capacity during 1944 he was one of the military team who oversaw the provisioning of food and equipment for Operation Overlord. His efforts also saw John being awarded the MBE in the New Year Honour’s List in 1947. He continued to serve with the Army until 1954 and shortly after his retirement he was awarded the OBE. His son, Robert also played for Glamorgan Colts in 1939 before serving as an officer in the Indian Army.
MADDEN-GASKELL, John Charles Pengelly, MBE, OBE
Born – Llangibby, 1st March 1896.
Died – Helston, Cornwall , 4th February 1975.
Best performance for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 32 v Yorkshire at Headingley, 1922.