Lawrence was the third son of James and Annie Madden of Gilgai near Inverell. His birth was registered at Inverell in 1895. He attended the Gilgai Public School before becoming a Miner. At the age of twenty one he enlisted at Armidale NSW, becoming a member of the 33rd Battalion, 6th Reinforcement.
Lawrence departed Australia in November 1916 on HMAT A72 Beltana and arrived at Devonport, England at the end of January 1917. After six months training in England he was sent to France. Just three days after being in the field he was Killed in Action on 14 July. Private Madden was buried at Bethlehem Farm West Cemetery, Messines, Belgium. A memorial service was held for him at Gilgai on 5 August 1917.
At Inverell his name is recorded on the town’s Honor Roll and Cenotaph. In 1919 he was one of the men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade. Private Madden’s name is also recorded on the Inverell Anglican Church Honor Roll and the Gilgai Cenotaph and Honor Roll.
An older brother, William, also served during WW1. He was a married man when he enlisted at Rutherford NSW in October 1916. He served in France with the 54th Battalion. He was wounded in Action in September 1918 and invalided back to England where he was admitted to Bath War Hospital. William returned home at the end of 1918 and was medically discharged in May 1919. His name is also recorded on the Gilgai Roll of Honor.