Seats to be reserved at Mt Hawthorn Anzac Day ceremony for Victoria Cross recipient Axford’s family


David Millar Mt Hawthorn RSL sub branch president at the Axford Park Memorial. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
David Millar Mt Hawthorn RSL sub branch president at the Axford Park Memorial. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

FOURTEEN seats will be reserved on Tuesday at the Mt Hawthorn Anzac Day ceremony for Victoria Cross recipient Thomas Axford’s family.

Lance Corporal Axford fought in World War I and was awarded the top honour in 1918 for his service; he died in 1983.

Axford Park on Scarborough Beach Road, where the ceremony will be held, was named after him.

Mt Hawthorn RSL sub branch president David Millar said he wanted the family involved in the lead up to a milestone.

“Next year will be the centenary of when Axford was awarded the Victoria Cross,” he said.

Mr Millar served as Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron crew commander in the Vietnam War for 18 months from 1966 to 1968.

The 71-year-old was 20 when he was called up by the National Service.

“My birthday came up every time; September 2,” he said.

“A lot of friends went; we were well trained.”

Mr Millar said he only encountered “close calls” until just before he was scheduled to head home.

“I was blown up on a mine during the Tet offensive in January 1968,” he said.

“I landed on my arms and both my shoulders snapped but I could not move because there was a machine gun on a cinema roof nearby.

“A carrier eventually drove up behind me and blocked the line of fire and collected me.”

He said now when he chats to children, he encourages them to resolve conflict differently.

“I say to them ‘don’t handle it how we handled it, go have a coffee and talk about it’,” he said.