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Axford, Walter Richard (1853–1918)

The news-of the death of Mr. Wal ter Richard Axford, followinig quickly upon the announcement that his son, Lance-Corpl. Thomas Leslie Axford, had won the Victoria Cross for conspicuous gallantry, came as a shock to the community on Monday morning. The deceased gentleman had not enjoyed the best of health for a number of years, and last week he took to his bed, but despite the attention that was paid to him by Dr. Walker, he passed away shortly before nine o'clock on Monday morning. His end was calm and peaceful all the members of his family, except the lance-corporal, being present at the bedside.

The late Mr. Axford, who was 65 years of age at the time of his demise was born at Bothwell, Tas mania, but at an early age he went with the other members of his family, to Ballarat, Victoria, where for 20 years he was in the employ of the Ballarat Hardware Company. He was for several years an active member of the Ballarat City Fire Brigade. He left Victoria with his father and other members of the family for South Australia, where for several years they engaged in farming pursuits at Carrieton, on the Port Augusta railway. His father's failing health led to the disposal of the farm, and Mr. Axford then conducted a successful business as an auctioneer and commission agent at Carrieton, where for several years he also occupied the post of town clerk. He was a justice of the peace in that district for a long while in fact; almost for the whole period of his stay in South Australia. Like others he was forced by the terrible drought of 20 years or so ago to migrate to West Australia. He spent 12 years in Coolgardie, and occupied clerical positions under Mr. McNamara and Knight Atkins besides acting as auditor for Harvey and Culley. Eight years ago he came to Kalgoorlie, since when he has done regular accountancy work for Mr. G. S. Harvey, of Boulder, and other business men.

The late Mr. Axford was married 28 years ago at Carrieton, South Australia, and his wife and nine children survive him, a tenth child having died in infancy. His step-mother, now 85 years of age, resides in England, where one of his sisters, Mrs. R. M. Osborne, also lives. His brother, Mr. G.C. Axford, is resident at the Wellington Mills, in the South-West of West Australia; an other brother; Mr. A. L. Axford, lives at Goodwood, South Australia, and a sister, Miss Axford,. resides at Abbotsford, Melbourne, Victoria. The eldest children of his family are Mrs. Rosewarne (whose husband has been wounded during the fighting on the western front); Sergeant Harry Axford late, of the 16th Battalion, A.I.F.; Lance-Corporal Thomas Leslie Axford, V.C., Mr. Harold Axford, and Miss Gertrude Axford.

The Mayor of Kalgoorlie, Mr. B. Leslie, mentioned in his report to the council on Monday that it was with mingled feelings of pleasure and sorrow that he had to congratlate the relatives of Lance-Corporal Axford upon the fact that His Ma jesty, the King had been pleased to confer upon the young soldier the Victoria Cross "for Valour:" The news had been received at a time when Mr. Axford senr was in a declining state of health, but it must become a source comfort and consolation to the bereaved relatives in their sorrow to realise that the honour conferred upon his brave and and gallant son must have been a great joy indeed to the father during his few remaining days on earth.

The mayor and councillors carried, in respectful silence, the resolution of the council to convey to the bereaved relatives the sincerest sympathy for them in their sad affliction. It was further resolved that the mayor and councillors attend the funeral in their official capacity.

Original publication

Citation details

'Axford, Walter Richard (1853–1918)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 12 December 2019.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2019

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Wraxford

Bothwell, Tasmania, Australia


2 September 1918
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, Australia

Cultural Heritage
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