INDENT D.C.M. London Gazette, 17.12.1914, "For gallantry in carrying many messages under fire. His example has been very valuable." (Belgium).
A contemporary local newspaper reported - "Private John Birch, 2nd. Lancashire Fusiliers, whose home is at 19, Wright St., Widnes, has also been decorated by the Czar with the Medal of St. George (4th Class). On 3rd. December, 1914, at Nieppe, near the Belgian frontier, King George pinned the DCM on Private Birch's tunic. He won the decoration on October, 20th. The Germans, in vastly superior force, were waiting for darkness to fall in order to attack the 2nd. Lancashire Fusiliers. To save himself and his comrades, Private Birch ran across 900 yards of open ploughed fields to the British Artillery and gave them the German position. He covered the distance through a hail of bullets, had three shots through his overcoat, but escaped uninjured. Owing to the fire of the Artillery, the Germans were driven back 700 yards. Private Birch has a long record of service. He is 29 years of age and has been 13 years in the Army ... he has been in the retirement at Mons, was gassed at Ypres, and has seen much severe fighting."
The following announcement preceded the list of D.C.M.s in the London Gazette, 12.2.1914 (page 10792) "Note. Any recipient of the D.C.M. whose name appears in the foregoing list should forward the decoration by registered post to the Deputy Director of Ordnance Stores, Woolwich Dockyard, for the engraving to be made thereon - if the Number, Rank, Name and Corps have not already been inscribed."