Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
3515   Sergeant John Cairns
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 15/01/2021
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 04/05/1891
Died: 31/10/1914 (Killed in Action)
Age: 23
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.
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 John Cairns
Cemetery Details
Cemetery: Ploegsteert Memorial
  Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, 
Grave Ref: Panel 5
CWGC Casualty 1641370
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.
Local Institute / Local Book Details

No Name Page
1 Ballygawley War Dead Book 10
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Cairns Family Lists John as age 10, living with the family at house 55 in Ballygawley, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Cairns Family Lists John as age 20, living with the family at house 98 in Ballygawley Town, Tyrone
3 Facebook - Lisbeg Pipe Band Photo of medals and Ballygawley book
4 Photo of Sergeant John Cairns' inscription
5 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2023