Back to search results

Sergeant HUGH CAIRNS

Service Number: 472168
Regiment & Unit/Ship

Canadian Infantry

46th Bn.

Date of Death

Died 02 November 1918

Age 21 years old

Buried or commemorated at

AUBERCHICOURT BRITISH CEMETERY

I. A. 8.

France

  • Country of Service Canadian
  • Awards Victoria Cross, Distinguished Conduct Medal
  • Additional Info Son of George H. and Elizabeth D. Cairns, of 832, Avenue "G" North, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
  • Personal Inscription LEAVING US AN EXAMPLE THAT YE SHOULD FOLLOW HIS STEPS "THY WILL BE DONE"
  • Additional Citation note

    An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 31155, dated 28th Jan., 1919, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery before Valenciennes on 1st November, 1918, when a machine gun opened on his platoon. Without a moment's hesitation Serjt. Cairns seized a Lewis gun and single-handed in the face of direct fire, rushed the post, killed the crew of five, and captured the gun. Later, when the line was held up by machine-gun fire, he again rushed forward, killing 12 enemy and capturing 18 and two guns. Subsequently when the advance was held up by machine-guns and field guns, although wounded, he led a small party to outflank them, killing many, forcing about 50 to surrender, and capturing all the guns. After consolidation he went with a battle patrol to exploit Marly and forced 60 enemy to surrender. Whilst disarming this party he was severely wounded. Nevertheless he opened fire and inflicted heavy losses. Finally he was rushed by about 20 enemy and collapsed from weakness and loss of blood. Throughout the operation he showed the highest degree of valour, and his leadership greatly contributed to the success of the attack. He died on the 2nd November from wounds."

Download certificate

Buried or commemorated at