Prior to publishing All the Green Year, Charlwood served during World War II with Bomber Command. His experiences are recorded in the autobiographical No Moon Tonight. Charlwood worked for many years as an air traffic controller and explained his work in the children’s non-fiction title Take-Off to Touchdown.
In April 2012, Charlwood was interviewed by Melbourne writer Michael McGirr in preparation for the re-release of All the Green Year as part of the Text Classics series. McGirr describes Charlwood as ‘one of the great craftsmen of Australian literature’ and says that in All the Green Year, Charlwood ‘made a unique contribution to the exploration of boyhood in Australian writing, a rich vein that stretches at least from Norman Lindsay's Redheap (1930) and Saturdee (1933) to Craig Silvey's Jasper Jones (2009).’ (‘Notable Storyteller: Compassionate yet Unsentimental’).
Charlwood’s family chose a private committal; a memorial service will be held next month at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne at 2.00pm on 20 July. All the Green Year will be re-printed by Text in September.