2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth:
31/10/1914 (Killed in Action)
John Cairns was the son of Thomas and Phoebe Cairns. John was born on 4th May 1891 in Errigal, Ballygawley. Johnís father Thomas had been a Gunner in the Mid Ulster Artillery. He was educated at the local National School. John worked as a labourer. The family lived in Ballygawley town. John Cairns enlisted in Ballygawley in 1909, and was called up on mobilisation in August 1914. Sergeant John Cairns was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on 31st October 1914 at the Battle of Messines in France. He was 23 years old.
The Ploegsteert Memorial stands in Berks Cemetery Extension, which is located 12.5 Kms south of Ieper town centre, on the N365 leading from Ieper to Mesen (Messines), Ploegsteert and on to Armentieres. From Ieper town centre the Rijselsestraat runs from the market square, through the Lille Gate (Rijselpoort) and directly over the crossroads with the Ieper ring road. The road name then changes to the Rijselseweg (N336). 3.5 Kms along the N336 lies a fork junction with the N365. The N365, which forms the right hand fork, leads to the town of Mesen. The Cemetery lies 3 Kms beyond Mesen on the right hand side of the N365, and opposite Hyde Park Corner Royal Berks Cemetery.