Private Thomas Cairns

Private Thomas Cairns, 1st Battalion, Scots Guards. He died in Belgium on 3rd August 1917, aged 23, from wounds received in action during the Third Battle of Ypres. He was the son of Thomas and Mary Cairns of ” Sunnyside “, Denholm and is buried in Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Flanders, Belgium. He was wounded on the 30th July on the eve of the attack on Pilckem Ridge  when the Battalion took all its objectives and suffered 270 casualties. He had enlisted from the Glasgow police in November 1914 and was originally posted to the 2nd Battalion before joining the 2nd Battalion in April 1915. He was wounded at the Battle of Festubert and upon his return in October of that year he was posted to the 1st Battalion. On 30th July he was struck by a shell whilst in the assembly trenches with his Lewis Gun section and wounded in both arms and legs. He died in the 47th Casualty Clearing Station  four days later and his personal effects of some letters, cards, photos, a pipe, a pocket book, a comb, a knife, two religious books and his identity disc were sent back to his parents in Denholm. The photo shows a Lewis Gun section in action at Ypres in 1917.

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