Lance Corporal Thomas Leslie Axford VC

Thomas Leslie Axford. P02939.030 Thomas Leslie Axford

Date of birth: 18 June 1894
Place of birth: Carrieton, SA
Date of death: 11 October 1983
Place of death: Onboard aircraft between Dubai and Hong Kong

Tom Axford was born in South Australia but grew up in Coolgardie, Western Australia. At the time of his enlistment he was working in Kalgoorlie. Axford arrived in France in 1916 and was treated for shell-shock in August. A year later he received shrapnel wounds and was out of action for four months. In 1918 he was awarded the Military Medal, but his finest hour came on 4 July that year.

During the battle of Hamel, Axford assisted an adjoining platoon by attacking an enemy machine-gun position with bombs and bayonet, killing ten Germans and capturing six, allowing the platoon to come forward and join him in the advance. Of his action he later commented, "I must have been mad". He was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Axford served in a headquarters unit in Western Australia during the Second World War. In his civilian life he was a clerk and a businessman.

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