94-year-old WWII vet still active with Mt Hawthorn RSL sub-branch


Charlie Schofield is a 94 year old war veteran. Picture: Matt Jelonek d481933
Charlie Schofield is a 94 year old war veteran. Picture: Matt Jelonek d481933

IT seems nothing can stop Charlie Schofield.

The 94-year-old Mt Hawthorn resident lived through more than 12 months of intense Army training in the Australian outback, camping in the Borneo jungle and sleeping in Labuan trenches during World War II but came home physically unscathed.

Not even a bout of pneumonia during training or malaria and hookworm after serving overseas kept him down.

Three months away from turning 95, the active senior can still drive a car on occasion.

Mr Schofield was 18 when he was conscripted into the Australian Army, forcing him to curb his dream of joining the Navy.

“I’d always loved the sea and boats; I was dying to get into the Navy but the Army came first,” he said.

After moving around Australia for training and spending a week in a Brisbane hospital to be treated for pneumonia, Mr Schofield was sent to Labuan and Borneo.

“Labuan was the worst,” he said.

“That was a bit of an ordeal – the Japanese were all dug in under this great big mountain and they were living under there.

“The Shropshire (army cadet force) was two miles out to sea and was lobbing shells on this mountain.

“After a period the Japanese started wandering around in a daze because they got hit with tonnes and tonnes of damn shells.”

He is the oldest member of the Mt Hawthorn RSL sub-branch – he was secretary for 11 years and president for four – and still remains active with his club and on Anzac Day.

Mr Schofield said it was important to remember and honour his mates he served with in the 2/28th Australian Infantry Battalion.

“I still go to the service every year; it’s pretty important,” he said.

“It brings back memories.”

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