Lance Corporal Thomas Leslie Axford

Service Number 3399
Birth Date 18 June 1894
Birth Place Australia: South Australia, Carrieton
Death Date 11 October 1983
Also known as Thomas Leslie Axford
Final Rank
Units
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 4 February 1919 on page 130 at position 81
London Gazette 13 September 1918 on page 10777 at position 14

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.

Collection items

Rolls

  • First World War Embarkation Roll

    Rank
    Private
    Place of Embarkation
    Fremantle
    Embarkation Ship
    HMAT Benalla A24
    Date of Embarkation
    01 November 1915
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918

Honours & Awards

  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Victoria Cross
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry 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:

    Award/Honour
    Military Medal
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry 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
    4 February 1919 on page 130 at position 81
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Victoria Cross
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Date of Recommendation
    05 July 1918
    Unit
    16th Australian Infantry Battalion
    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

Find out more about Lance Corporal Thomas Leslie Axford