CAIRNS, Robert
(Service number N/N)

First Rank Last Rank Private


Date 23 May 1888 Place of Birth Amberley

Enlistment Information

Date (1) 23 July 1917; (2) 15 January 1919 Age (1) 29 years; (2) 30 years
Address at Enlistment Sherman Street, Waimate
Occupation Carpenter
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

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, Maintenance Section

Military Awards

Service Medals
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date 6 May 1919 Reason "At his own request"

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


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

Biographical Notes

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]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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