A Hero from the Past.
Sgt Hugh Cairns DCM, VC
I was explaining the story of Saskatoon native Hugh Cairns, our Armoury’s namesake, and his superhero exploits in WWI to a couple of friends over the weekend – in short, Sgt Cairns was one badass warrior!. I have included the citation for you to read and pass along to your friends – like they say, “you can’t make this stuff up!”
Hugh Cairns was born in Ashington, England on 4 December 1896, and came with his family to Canada in May 1911. During the First World War, Cairns and his two brothers enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. For his actions in the attack by the Canadian Corps on Vimy Ridge in April 1917, Cairns received the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
On 1 November 1918, while Sergeant Cairns was serving with the 46th Infantry Battalion near Valenciennes in France, a German machine gun opened fire on his platoon as it advanced. Single-handed, he attacked the enemy position and captured the gun, using a Lewis light machine gun to kill the crew. Later, when progress was blocked again, he charged another group of German positions, killing 12 of the enemy and capturing 18 others along with two machine guns. When further resistance was encountered from enemy machine guns and artillery, Cairns, though wounded, led a successful effort to outflank and eliminate the defenders. Cairns’s small party inflicted many casualties and captured about fifty of the enemy and all of their guns. A subsequent patrol in which he participated forced 60 more enemy soldiers to surrender. It was while disarming this group of prisoners that Cairns was wounded again, this time severely. Although he still managed to open fire and kill many of his assailants, he was overwhelmed by about 20 of the other enemy prisoners and collapsed from weakness and the loss of blood. Cairns died the following day.
Sergeant Cairns received a posthumous Victoria Cross for his exemplary conduct in these actions.
One hell of an example to all of our men! Cede Nullis!!!
1 min per station, 3 rds for total reps:
—-Rest 3 mins after completing 3 rds——
Cash out: 100 Knees to elbows
Clean and Jerk – 3,3,2,2,2,1