Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: Charles Oscar Axen


Corporal 5034

Charles Oscar Axen was born in Karlsborg, Sweden in December 1880 and arrived in Melbourne on the Orotana on 13 March 1902. He lived at High Camp for nine years, Western Australia for two years and Pyalong for two years, occupation labourer. Charles married Eleanor Maud Lawrence in 1905 and by 1916 they had four children.

At age 35 years Charles enlisted on 20 January 1916 at Melbourne and after training embarked for overseas on 16 July on the HMAT Suffolk. Before he left Charles became an Australian citizen in June 1916.

After a short period in England, Charles joined his Battalion, the 7th, in the Somme in November 1916 and within a month he was suffering trench fever. In January 1917 he was transferred to Horton Hospital, near London, and later to the 67th Battalion in a training role. Charles was promoted to Lance Corporal in April 1917.

Charles returned to France in October 1917 to take part in defending the German Spring Offensive. On 9 June 1918 he was promoted to Corporal. During the early days of the Allied Hundred Days Offensive, the 7th fought a major action at Lihons and on the first day, 9 August, Charles received gun shot wounds in his left leg. Within four days he was admitted to the Cambridge Hospital in Aldershot, England. After recovering and taking leave, he embarked on the HT Karmala on 2 January 1919 for Melbourne where he was discharged on 1 April.

On Friday 7 March 1919 at the High Camp hall, a large attendance of local citizens gave Charles a warm reception and presented him with a sum of money in appreciation of his three years active service.

Charles received the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and 1914/15 Star. His name is recorded on the Pyalong Shire Honour Roll and at the Glenaroua Public Hall. The Axen family later moved to Mildura where Charles died in 1955.

Reproduced in the North Central Review, 3 March 2015, p10

3 thoughts on “Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: Charles Oscar Axen”

  1. Thank you for providing some essential information about my grandfather who I believe once saw me (when I was all of 2 years old ) Sadly I have little knowledge or appreciation of his life in Kilmore,suffice to say I believe he was one of those WW1 returned servicemen who built the stone monument to Hume and Hovell on Monument Hill.

    Len Axen eldest son of Betty (Seaton Caroline Knights and “Gus”
    (Sven Gustva Axen ) Mum; born at Tantaraboo, Dad: born at Moranding. Strong family ties to the Willowmavin area and the “Somerset” farm which we eventually bought from a relative Rebecca Hannam nee Knights.


    1. Have traced the family tree of Charles Oscar Axen ,all the way back to Sweden ;and have made contact with direct descendants of his family. Also I have a copy of his full military records as well as his application for naturalization, and a copy of his application to travel from Sweden to Thule–London and then to Australia
      I have also got full military record for three of his sons that served in WW2.
      Robert AXEN younger brother of Len.


      1. Many thanks for your message. The Society holds copies of his army records and his naturalization papers thanks. However if you would like to lodge a copy of your research with the Society we would be pleased to receive a copy, together with your contact details in case someone wants to contact you in the future. The Society’s address is P O Box 206, Kilmore, 3764.


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