The AIF Project

Fredrick BIRKS

Regimental number47
Date of birth16 August 1894
Place of birthBuckley, Flintshire, North Wales, United Kingdom
Place of birthBuckley, Flintshire, Wales
Other NamesFrederick
SchoolSt Matthew's Church School, Buckley, Flintshire, United Kingdom
Age on arrival in Australia22
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
Addressc/o Mrs Cornelius, 18 King Street, Norwood, Adelaide, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 9.5"
Weight168 lbs
Next of kinMrs M Birks, Garden Cottage, Chester Road, Buckley, Flintshire, England
Previous military serviceServed for 2 years in the Royal Artillery (Welsh), British Army.
Enlistment date18 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name2nd Field Ambulance
AWM Embarkation Roll number26/45/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 19 October 1914
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll6th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal


Recommendation date: 10 June 1916

Military Medal


Recommendation date: 9 September 1916

Victoria Cross


Posthumous recommendation
Recommendation date: 20 September 1917

Other details from Roll of Honour Circular'He attended school for 11 years without being absent or late. He was always a bright, smart lad.' (James Dyson, St Matthew's School, Buckley)
FateKilled in Action 21 September 1917
Place of death or woundingGlencorse Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Date of death21 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records23
Place of burialPerth Cemetery (Row I, Plot G, Grave 45) (China Wall) Zillebeke, Belgium
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
46
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Son of Samuel and Mary BIRKS. An extract from the Third Supplement to "The London Gazette" No 30372, of 8th November 1917, records the following: "For most conspicuous bravery in attack, when, accompanied by only a corporal, he rushed a strong point which was holding up the advance. The corporal was wounded by a bomb, but 2nd Lt Birks went on by himself, killed the remainder of the enemy occupying the position, and captured a machine gun. Shortly afterwards he organised a small party and attacked another strong point which was occupied by about twenty-five of the enemy, of whom many were killed and an officer and fifteen men captured. During the consolidation this officer did magnificent work in reorganising parties of other units which had been disorganised during the operations. By his wonderful coolness and personal bravery 2nd Lt Birks kept his men in splendid spirits throughout. He was killed at his post by a shell whilst endeavouring to extricate some of his men who had been buried by a shell."~
Medals

Victoria Cross

'For most conspicuous bravery in attack when accompanied only by a corporal, he rushed a strong point which was holding up the advance. The corporal was wounded by a bomb, but 2nd Lieutenant Birks went on by himself, killed the remainder of the enemy occupying the position, and captured a machine gun. Shortly afterwards he organized a small party and attacked another strong point, which was occupied by about twenty five of the enemy, of whom many were killed and an officer and fifteen men captured. During the consolidation this officer did magnificent work in reorganizing parties of other units which had been disorganized during the operations. By his wonderful coolness and personal bravery 2nd Lieutenant Birks kept his men in splendid spirits throughout. He was killed at his post by a shell whilst endeavouring to extricate some of his men who had been buried by a shell.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 110
Date: 25 July 1918

Military Medal


Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62
Date: 19 April 1917

Family/military connectionsBrother: Sergeant Samuel BIRKS MSM, Royal Artillery
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 5 April 1915. Wounded in action (slightly), 26 June 1915; returned to duty, 27 June 1915.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 23 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 30 March 1916.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 21 April 1916; Temporary Wagon Orderly Corporal, 5 August 1916; rank made substantive, 10 August 1916.

Awarded Military Medal, 4 October 1916.

Admitted to 2nd Field Ambulance, 9 February 1917 (pyrexia, unknown origin); transferred same day to Divisional Rest Station; discharged to duty and rejoined unit, 14 February 1917.

Attached to 1st Division School, 28 February 1917.

Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant with 6th Bn, 10 May 1917; taken on strength, 6th Bn, 12 May 1917.

Awarded Victoria Cross.

Killed in action, Belgium, 21 September 1917.

Medals: Victoria Cross, Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal