Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
4354   Lance Corporal Hugh John Cairns
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 01/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 08/03/1886
Died: 16/05/1915 (Killed in Action)
Age: 29
Hugh John Cairns was the son of Hugh and Sarah Cairns. He was born about 1886 in Coalisland. The 1901 census shows the family living in Coalisland. Hugh was 15 years old and working in a factory. His father was a clerk. By the time of the 1911 census, Hugh’s mother Sarah had died. Hugh was now working as a railway porter. Hugh John enlisted in Cookstown and served with the 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Lance Corporal Hugh John Cairns was killed in action at the Battle of Festubert on 16th May 1915. The CWGC refer to Hugh as 4354 Lance Corporal Hugh John Kearns. This family name is almost certainly spelt incorrectly as both the census and his local church refer to the family as Cairns.
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 Hugh John Cairns
Cemetery Details
Cemetery: Le Touret Memorial
  Le Touret, Pas-de-Calais
Grave Ref: Panel 16-17
CWGC Casualty 855635
Le Touret Memorial is located at the east end of Le Touret Military Cemetery, on the south side of the Bethune-Armentieres main road. From Bethune follow the signs for Armentieres until you are on the D171. Continue on this road through Essars and Le Touret village. Approximately 1 kilometre after Le Touret village and about 5 kilometres before you reach the intersection with the D947, Estaires to La Bassee road, the Cemetery lies on the right hand side of the road. The Memorial takes the form of a loggia surrounding an open rectangular court. The court is enclosed by three solid walls and on the eastern side by a colonnade. East of the colonnade is a wall and the colonnade and wall are prolonged northwards (to the road) and southwards, forming a long gallery. Small pavilions mark the ends of the gallery and the western corners of the court.
Local Institute / Local Book Details

No Name Page
1 Cookstown War Dead Book WW1 299
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Cairns family 1901 Census lists Hugh John, a factory worker, as age 15 at house 54 in Coal Island, Tullyniskane, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists "Carins" family 1911 Census lists Hugh John, a railway porter, as age 25 at house 108 in Coalisland, Tullyniskane, Tyrone
3 Dungannon War Dead Also listed on Dungannon War Dead
4 Dungannon War Dead Robert Lynn on Dungannon War Dead
5 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here (Hugh J Kearns)
6 War Memorials Archive Details of a memorial to Lance Corporal Hugh John Cairns in Brackaville Church
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2023