Hugh Cairns VC, DCM (December 4, 1896 - November 2, 1918) was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. See below the section "Separate Commonwealth awards" Note that since The Distinguished Conduct Medal ( DCM) was (until 1993 the second level Military decoration awarded Other ranks of the British Army and formerly "December 4th" redirects here For the song by Jay-Z, see December 4th (song. Year 1896 ( MDCCCXCVI) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year Events 1570 - A Tidal wave in the North Sea devastates the coast from Holland to Jutland, killing more than 1000 Year 1918 ( MCMXVIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page See below the section "Separate Commonwealth awards" Note that since The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located He was born in Ashington, Northumberland, England.
He was 21 years old, and a sergeant in the 46th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC. Sergeant is a rank used in some form by most militaries police forces and other uniformed organizations around the world The Canadian Expeditionary Force was the group of Canadian military units formed for service overseas in the First World War. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All
For most conspicuous bravery before Valenciennes on 1st November, 1918, when a machine gun opened on his platoon. Valenciennes (Old Dutch: Valencijn, Latin: Valentianae) is a Town and commune in northern France in the A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two to four sections or Squads and containing about 30 to 50 soldiers 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. The Lewis Gun is a pre- World War I era Squad automatic weapon / Machine gun of American design that was most widely used by the forces of the British 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. Marly is the name or part of the name of several communes in Europe: France Marly, in the Moselle département 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.
Cairns is buried in the Auberchicourt British Cemetery, seven kilometers east of Douai, France, roughly sixteen kilometers north of Cambrai, Plot I, Row A, Grave 8. Douai ( Dutch: Dowaai) is a town and commune in the north of France in the département of Nord
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Canadian War Museum (Ottawa, Canada). The Canadian War Museum (CWM is Canada ’s national museum of military history
Cairns was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917. The Distinguished Conduct Medal ( DCM) was (until 1993 the second level Military decoration awarded Other ranks of the British Army and formerly The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a military offensive by the Canadian Corps against elements of the German Sixth Army in World War I.
Cairns was also awarded the Légion d'honneur by the Government of France. In March 1936, the town of Valenciennes renamed one of its principal streets "Avenue Serjeant Hugh Cairns".
Cairns has several buildings and locations named after him in his hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan including Hugh Cairns V. Saskatoon is a city located in central Saskatchewan, Canada, on the South Saskatchewan River, with a Saskatchewan (səˈskætʃəwən) is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of 588276 C. School (an elementary school that opened in 1960), and the Hugh Cairns V. C. Armoury. The school is located on Cairns Avenue, however the street was not named for Hugh Cairns, but rather for Saskatoon pioneer John Cairns. In addition, a statue of Cairns, known as the Footballer's Memorial, is in the city's Kinsmen Park.