Frederick BIRKS VC, MM


BIRKS, Frederick

Service Number: 47
Enlisted: 18 August 1914, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Second Lieutenant
Last Unit: 6th Infantry Battalion
Born: Buckley, Flintshire, North Wales, 16 August 1894
Home Town: Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria
Schooling: St. Matthews Anglican Parish School, Flintshire
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in action, Glencorse Wood, Ypres, Belgium, 21 September 1917, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Ypres
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Keith Payne VC Memorial Park, North Bondi War Memorial, Winchelsea WWI Memorial
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World War 1 Service

18 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 47, Melbourne, Victoria
19 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 47, 2nd Field Ambulance, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
19 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 47, 2nd Field Ambulance, HMAT Wiltshire, Melbourne
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 47, 2nd Field Ambulance, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
4 May 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 6th Infantry Battalion
20 Sep 1917: Honoured Victoria Cross, Menin Road, "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."
21 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 6th Infantry Battalion, Menin Road

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"..Private (Pte) (later Second Lieutenant (2nd Lt) Frederick Birks VC MM, of the 6th Battalion who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for most conspicuous bravery in an attack on 20 September 1917 at Glencorse Wood, Belgium. In July 1916 he was award the Military Medal for 'consistant good services' in the operations at Pozieres. 2nd Lt Birks was 23 years old when he died on 21 September 1917."SOURCE ( (

"Frederick Birks (1894-1917), soldier, was born on 16 August 1894 at Buckley, Flintshire, North Wales, son of Samuel Birks, groom, and his wife Mary, née Williams. His father died in a coal-mining accident when he was 8. Educated at the local St Matthew's Anglican parish school he later worked as a labourer and steel-rollerman in the near-by town of Shotton.

In 1913 Birks migrated to Australia and worked as a labourer in Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria. Enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force on 18 August 1914, he was posted to the 2nd Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps, and sailed for Egypt in October. His unit went into action at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, providing medical support for the 2nd Infantry Brigade. On 26 June, while serving as a stretcher-bearer, Birks was wounded by shrapnel; he resumed duty soon afterwards and remained at Anzac until 9 September. He served in Egypt until March 1916 when the 2nd Field Ambulance left for the Western Front, was promoted lance corporal on 21 April and served throughout the first battle of the Somme as a stretcher-bearer. At Pozières in July, for 'constant good services', he was awarded the Military Medal in the field by General Birdwood..." - READ MORE LINK ( (