At Missy on 14th September under a heavy fire all day until 7 p.m., worked with his own hand two rafts bringing back wounded and returning with ammunition; thus enabling advanced Brigade to maintain its position across the river.”
Having achieved the rank of Major, William Johnston VC, was killed in action at Ypres on 8 June 1915. He is buried at Perth Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium.
“His Majesty The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned Offices, Non-commissioned Officers and Man: —
2nd Lt. Frederick Birks, Late Aust. Imp. Force.
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”