Lance Corporal Thomas Leslie Axford

Service number 3399
Ranks Held Lance Corporal, Private
Birth Date 18 June 1894
Birth Place Australia: South Australia, Carrieton
Death Date 11 October 1983
Final Rank Lance Corporal
Service Australian Imperial Force
Units
Place Carrieton
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918
Gazettes Published in London Gazette in 1918-09-13
Published in London Gazette in 1918-08-17
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-02-04
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1918-12-12
Description

Tom Axford (1894-1983) 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 in 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.

Rolls

  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    16th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Lance Corporal
    London Gazette
    17 August 1918 on page 9660 at position 1
    Commonwealth Gazette
    12 December 1918 on page 2348 at position 19
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    16th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Private
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    16th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Lance Corporal
    London Gazette
    13 September 1918 on page 10777 at position 14
    Commonwealth Gazette
    04 February 1919 on page 130 at position 81
  • First World War Embarkation Roll:

    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Private

Timeline

Date of birth 18 June 1894
Other 1912 - 1915 Served in the 84th Infantry Regiment of the Australian military Forces.
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 19 July 1915 Allocation to the 11th Reinforcements of the 16th Battalion.
Date of embarkation 01 November 1915 Embarked on HMAT Benalla.
Date of embarkation 01 November 1915
Date wounded 1916-08 Shell shocked.
Date wounded 1917-08
Date promoted 1918-02 Promoted to Lance Corporal.
Date of honour or award 1918-07 Awarded the Military Medal.
Date promoted 1918-07 Promoted to Corporal.
Date of honour or award 04 July 1918 Awarded the Victoria Cross for action at Vaire and Hamel Woods.
Date of recommendation honour or award 05 July 1918
Date returned to Australia 1918-10
Date of discharge 06 February 1919 Discharged in Perth.
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 25 June 1941 Served with the Western Australian Echelon and Records Office.
Date of discharge 14 April 1947 Discharged with the rank of Sergeant.
Date of death 11 October 1983