(Service number N/N)
|First Rank||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||23 May 1888||Place of Birth||Amberley|
|Date||(1) 23 July 1917; (2) 15 January 1919||Age||(1) 29 years; (2) 30 years|
|Address at Enlistment||Sherman Street, Waimate|
|Previous Military Experience||2nd Canterbury Regiment - resigned|
|Marital Status||Married. Three children|
|Next of Kin||Elizabeth CAIRNS (wife), King Street, Upper Hutt|
|Medical Information||Class A|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, Maintenance Section|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||6 May 1919||Reason||"At his own request"|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||10 August 1975||Age||87 years|
|Place of Death|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Timaru Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||General Section, Row 144, Plot 653|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Robert Cairns was the first-born of Robert and Jane (née Main) Cairns. Born on 23 May 1888 at Amberley his early education was there. About 1906 the family moved to Timaru. Robert, junior, married Elizabeth Latimer on 26 June 1912 at St Mary’s Church, Cullman Town, Timaru. Three children were born to Robert and Elizabeth – Vickers Kitchener on 20 December 1914 at Waimate, Louvain Trevor on 16 November 1917 at Waimate, and Olive Rose on 12 November 1918 at Upper Hutt.
On 23 July 1917, Robert Cairns, a carpenter residing at Waimate, enlisted. He had served with and resigned from the 2nd Canterbury Regiment. He was assessed as Class A in the medical examination. It was, it seems, 15 January 1919 when he next attested. Private Cairns served with the Maintenance Section of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps. He was discharged on 6 May 1919 “at his own request” and intended going to his father’s address in Maltby Avenue, Timaru.
Both sons lost their lives in World War II – Louvain on air operations in Europe in 1942 and Vickers in Fiji in 1943. They are remembered on their father’s headstone n the Timaru Cemetery.
NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [15 July 2021]; Timaru Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [15 July 2021]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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