Salute to Col. Madge born with Armistice

Colonel Madge Brown receives the congratulations of the Provost and Deputy Lord Lieutenant
Colonel Madge Brown receives the congratulations of the Provost and Deputy Lord Lieutenant

A Biggar resident who was just 12 days old when the Armistice brought World War One to an end, has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Army Nursing Corps veteran Colonel Margaret Annie Brown - who is known to all as ‘Madge’ - went on to serve in World War Two.

Her enormously useful life was rightly celebrated in style on Tuesday, October 30 at her home with a visit from Provost Ian McAllan and Lanarkshire Deputy Lord Lieutenant Neena Mahal.

Born in Annan, Madge began her nursing training aged 22, just after the outbreak of the second global conflict. She recalls that her wage was £18 a YEAR when she nursed in Glasgow’s Belvedere Hospital and then Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle.

Her qualification as a State Registered Nurse in 1944 saw her join Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Reserves and her posting to a military hospital in war-torn Italy, working in harrowing conditions. At the end of the war she was posted to India and demobbed in 1947 on her return to the UK.

Back home she worked briefly in Law Hospital but she re-joined the Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Corp in 1948. Madge then saw service back in Italy and the Far East, Africa, Malaya, Nepal, Gibraltar,Germany, France and Northern Ireland before retiring a full Colonel in 1975.

Her decorations include 1939-45 Medal, Italy Campaign Medal, General Service Medal, Malaya Campaign Medal and the Coronation Medal.

On her retirement, she received the Royal Red Cross First Class Medal from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Provost McAllan commented: “Madge is, without a doubt, an inspiration to anyone who meets her. The care she and her fellow nursing corps colleagues gave on frontlines around the world, makes her a hero to us all.

“The accolades given to her throughout her career tell only a little of the story of a life well lived, and as unique as any I have heard. It is a true privilege to meet Madge.”