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The Wartime Memories Project - Remembering those who served during The Great War

The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War

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Those Who Served


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Rfmn. Charles Ernest Cable

British Army 17th (Poplar and Stepney Rifles) Battalion London Regiment


(d.22nd Apr 1917)

Ernest Charles Cable was one of four siblings who left Limehouse to fight in Flanders at the Somme, Ypres etc. He lived at 3 Eastfield Street. He was attached in 1916 to the 9th Company Machine Gun Corps and died in action at the 2nd Battle of the Scarp. He was the only one who died in the family, the others being unscathed in the Navy, one captured in 1918 and one wounded by Shrapnel.


Pte. Charles Ernest Cable

British Army 17th Btn. London Regiment


(d.22nd Apr 1917)


Pte. James Henry Cable

British Army 21st Btn Durham Light Infantry

served with 18th DLI & att 93rd TMB


Gnr. Thomas A. Cable

British Army 108th Brigade, D Bty. Royal Field Artillery

(d.26th June 1917)

Thomas Cable served with D Battery, 108th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. He died on 26th June 1917 of wounds. He was aged 21. Thomas Cable is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.


Pte. H Cadden

British Army 2nd/7th Btn. Royal Warwickshire Rgt.

(d.9th April 1917)

I am looking for information about Private Herbert (or Henry) Cadden. Does anyone have any information about him?


Cpl. Lawrence Cades

British Army 15th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry


(d.16th Aug 1918)

Lawrence Cades Medal Index Card

Lawrence Cades Medal Index Card

Lawrence Cades aged 39, died on 16th August 1918 whilst serving with the 15th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. (formerly 52570 RGA) Born in Jarrow he was the husband of Isabella Cades (nee McLaughlin) of 20 Deptford Terrace Sunderland. On the 1911 census he is listed as Lawrence Cades age 31 Painter and Decorator living with his wife Isabella and children at 20 Deptford Terrace, Sunderland. He enlisted in Sunderland.

Lawrence is buried in Aval Wood Military Cemetery. Vieux-Berquin.


CSM Walter Cadman DCM.

British Army 1st/4th Btn. Yorks and Lancaster Regiment

from:Woodhouse, Sheffield

From information recieved from my grandfather, Walter Cadman went to France in April of 1915 and returned to England in January of 1919. He received the DCM for his actions late 1918. The reason for his commendation was written in a London newspaper. My Grandfather did not talk of his time in France.


Pte. Willie Earnest Cadreman

British Army 8th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps


Billy Cadreman was a Lewis gunner. He was captured at the Battle of St Quentin on the 21st of March 1918. He lost a brother, Fredrick Cadreman of the 4th Royal Fusillers at the Battle of Bellewarrde in 1915.


Pte. Charles Henry Cadwallader

British Army 9th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers

from:Ellesmere Port

(d.20th September 1917)

Charles Cadwallader died in Passchendaele. He is remembered with honour at Tyne Cot Memorial


Sea. Daniel Cahalane

Royal Naval Reserve

Daniel Cahalane died on 2nd of May 1919 and is buried in the Castlelands (Ringrone) Graveyard in Co. Cork, Ireland.


J. Cahill

British Army Army Service Corps

from:Navan, Co. Meath

(d.27th Oct 1917)

Shoeing Smith J. Cahill was the husband of Sarah Cahill of 22 St. Patrick's Terrace, Navan. He was 52 when he died and is buried in the south west part of the Donaghmore Old Graveyard, Co. Meath, Ireland.


Pte. William Cahill

British Army 7th Btn. Leinster Regiment


(d.31st Jul 1917)

My Great Grandfather, William was born in 1881 and enlisted in Mullingar sometime in 1916. He was killed in action on 31st July 1917 on the first day of 3rd Ypres, whilst on a digging party at Potijze crossroads.

He is buried with 9 other personell from the 7th Leinsters who were killed in the same incident. According to the family he was only in the trenches for about 6 months before he met his end. He is buried at Potijze Chateau Lawn Cemetery and his stone includes the epitaph 'He died with a smile his country to save - his memory lives with the true and the brave".


Drv. Walter Joseph Caiger

British Army 149th Battalion, 26th Brig. Royal Field Artillery

from:23 Smalley Rd., Stoke Newington, London

This story of my Grandfather, Walter Caiger, was pieced together after considerable research due to his British Army Service records having been destroyed during WW2. Walter had entered the Army in 1899 at age 16yrs, and had taken part in the Anglo Boer War in South Africa during 1899-1902.

Serving as a regular soldier when WW1 broke out, he was deployed from Aldershot with the 149th Battalion 26th Brigade Royal Field Artillery to the Western Front with the 1st Division of British Expeditionary Forces under the command of Lt-Colonel Cunliffe-Owen, landing in France on 16th August 1914, where their first encounter with the German forces occurred on 23rd August 1914 at Mons. He also served with the Allied Expeditionary Forces at Thessaloniki (Salonica) in central Macedonia/Greece 1915-16.

Walter experienced a great deal of action in WW1 as quoted in the National Roll of the Great War:- "Caiger, W. R.F.A. A serving soldier who enlisted in 1900, he was drafted to the Western Front on the outbreak of hostilities. His service overseas lasted for 5 years, and during this time he took part in important engagements in practically all sectors, and was wounded. He was discharged on his return to England in February 1919. 23 Smalley Road Stoke Newington N16 Entry No. 7297"

The wounds he received were a result of Mustard Gas first used by the Germans in 1917. A lethal chemical, only requiring minimal amounts to be effective. It was almost odourless and took 12 hours for the effects to show, remaining in the soil for several weeks. Victims suffered blistered skin, sore eyes, vomiting, internal and external bleeding, with the mucous stripped from their bronchial tubes, they suffered a slow and agonising death over a period of 4-5 weeks. Walter was fortunate to survive but as a result, not able to continue his Army duties and was discharged in January 1920.

Walter was awarded the 1914 Star & Clasp, General Service and Victory Medals (Clasp No.14526 “Clasp & Roses” issued)W7585 c/a d29.1.20 Qualifying date 16.8.14. When the full size medal was worn, the clasp would have been attached to the ribbon, and when just the medal ribbon was worn, a small rosette was mounted in the middle of the ribbon to signify the recipient had earned the clasp.

Post war Walter took up duties with London County Council, which acknowledged its employees contributions during the Great War 1914-18, by keeping a Record of Service for each of them. Walter’s being: Caiger, Walter Joseph (1914-19); Sapper, U.F. ; France and Salonica 3 years.

Although not having known Grandfather, we admire the stamina, courage and valour he and his comrades would have shown throughout these hostilities, and give thanks for his safe return to his homeland, England.


Pte. D. Cain

British Army 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers


Wounded July 1916 Took part in Trench raids 5-6th June 16


Pte. Edwin Cain

British Army 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers


Edwin Cain was wounded in December 1917


Cpl. John Thomas Cain

British Army 12th Btn. Cheshire Regiment


(d.19th May 1917)

John Cain is buried in the Karasouli Military Cemetery in Greece. He left behind a wife and seven children.


Pte. Thomas Cain

British Army 1/8th Btn. Middlesex Regiment


(d.9th Oct 1916)

Thomas Cain was killed in action on the 9th of October 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and at the Lych Gate at Paston Church, Peterborough. He was the son of James and Florence Cain of 400 Gladstone Street in Peterbrough and was married to Rose.


Cpl. William Lucas Cain

British Army 18th Btn. Middlesex Regiment


(d.30th Sep 1916)

I never knew my grandfather W.L Cain, but I have been told that as a miner he did not have to volunteer for service. However he did as he had specific knowledge of gases which the Germans were using. He was wounded and would have pulled through, but whilst awaiting transport back to England he was killed in a bombing raid.

Update: After years of searching have finally managed put together the medals that my Grandfather would have been awarded including a copy of the memorial plaque. I am still looking for a photo of him. If anyone can help me please get in touch. Thank you


Pte. David Caine

British Army 17th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own)


(d.30th July 1916)

David Caine Medal Index Card

David Caine Medal Index Card

David Caine was serving with the 17th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) when died on 30th July 1916. He was born in Jarrow, lived in Huddersfield and enlisted in Leeds.

David is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.


Pte. E. Caine

British Army 1st Btn. Dorset Regiment

Pte Caine was a prisoner in Gustrow POW Camp.


Pte. Evan Idwal Caine

British Army 68th Coy Machine Gun Corps

from:Primrose Hill, Llanbadarn Pawr, Aberystwyth, Wales

(d.9th Jun 1917)


Pte. Matthew Caine

British Army 11th Battalion Manchester Regiment

from:New Springs, Wigan

(d.17th Aug 1917)

Matthew Caine was a father of 4 who died aged 34. Before joining the army, he worked as a collier for the Wigan Coal and Iron Co. He enlisted in October 1914. He was a stretcher bearer with the Manchester Regiment. He was killed whilst trying to save one of his comrades, 17th August 1917. His body was never found. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.


John Duffett Caines

British Army


John Duffett Caines was said to have originally lied about his age to join the Army. He took part in a display as a member of an Royal Field Artillery trotting team. He later became a railwayman and was a civilian at the outbreak of World War One. He quickly rejoined and was said by his son to be on "the second boat over".


Pte. P. Cairnie

British Army 1st Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers

(d.28th Dec 1916)

Pte Cairnie was executed for desertion 28/12/1916 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, Somme, France.


Pte. George Cairns

British Army 18th Btn. Durham Light Infantry


Sgt. Hugh Cairns VC.

Canadian Expeditionary Force 46th Saskatchewan Regiment

(d.2nd Nov 1918)

Hugh Cairns was born in 1896 in Ashington, Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. In 1911 the family emigrated to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. On August 2, 1915 at age 18, Hugh Cairns enlisted with the 65th Battalion and returned to England in June 1916. On June 30th, Sgt. Cairns was transferred to the 46th Battalion before proceeding to France.

The Website gives an account of the actions for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross:

Sergeant Cairns, had two brothers in the army during the Great War, Henry Cairns and Corporal Albert Cairns; the later having been killed on September 10, 1918, age 23, during the battle of Cambrai. Albert and Hugh were said to have been inseparable, and one of Sgt. Cairns’ comrades recalled that “Hughie said he’d get fifty Germans for that” adding, “I don’t think he ever planned to come back after Abbie got killed.” Only Cairns’ almost fanatical desire to avenge his brother’s death can explain his actions seven weeks later.

"Sgt. Cairns was in charge of a platoon during the advance near Valenciennes, France. About 300 yards north of Aulnoy, when he was advancing down the Famars road, a machine gun opened on his men from a house on the side of the street. The fire was coming from a window upstairs. Sgt. Cairns seized a Lewis gun and rushed into the house. Dashing upstairs in face of fire turned on him, he killed the crew of five and captured the gun. The Canadian line advanced. It swung across the Famars road to the south side where, in front of an old French cemetery, they were held up again by fire from a strongly-held machine gun post. Again Sgt. Cairns rushed forward alone, firing his gun from the hip as he went. He silenced and captured two enemy guns, killing 12 Germans and taking 18 prisoners. Once more the Canadian line moved on, routing out the Germans from the houses and sending back scores of prisoners.

In the outskirts of Valenciennes, in an old brickfield, the advance was again stayed by a battery of field guns firing point blank, and a large number of machine guns. Sgt. Cairns was wounded in the shoulder, but notwithstanding, he led a small party of his men around the position and outflanked it. Working his way to within 75 yards of the guns he took careful aim and killed a large number of the enemy gunners, causing 50 others to surrender. Seven machine guns, four field guns and one trench mortar were captured. The objective was gained and the line of railway in the city of Valenciennes consolidated. The two front lines of the attacking companies had instructions to push out patrols to ascertain whether or not the enemy were evacuating and to gain other information of military importance. Sgt. Cairns accompanied Lieut. J. P. G. MacLeod; D. S. O., with a small patrol to exploit Marly, a suburb east of Valenciennes. Cairns noticed a considerable number of the enemy in a courtyard surrounded with buildings, and with Lieut. MacLeod, pushed forward to the gate, where they came face to face with about 60 Boche.

The Germans, seeing the Canadian officer and the sergeant with his Lewis gun, threw up their hands when ordered but before they could be disarmed one of them gave the signal that the two men were alone and, as he approached Sgt. Cairns as if to surrender, a German officer drew his pistol and shot Cairns through the stomach. Sgt. Cairns immediately dropped to his knees and fired upon the German officer, killing him instantly. The other Boche then took cover behind boxes and piles of debris and began firing on the two Canadians. In spite of the fact that he had received his fatal wound, Cairns got his gun into action. Again he was wounded in the hand and arm, but bleeding and in great pain he continued to operate his gun. Then another shot blew away the trigger and mangled his hand. Twenty Boche ran forward to overpower him. Seizing his broken gun, he hurled it into the face of the nearest Hun, then staggering to the gate, collapsed unconscious.

In a moment the remainder of the patrol came running to the courtyard and a skirmish took place, during which Lieut. MacLeod dragged away the insensible form of the hero, placing him on a door to use as a stretcher. During this evacuation enemy fire was taken from the flank killing one of the stretcher bearers and wounding Sgt. Cairns yet again. They carried him back to the Canadian line and then to the field hospital where he died the next day. A spirit of recklessness had animated Sgt. Cairns from the moment of attack that day. His superior officer had suggested he not to go into action; as he had seen a great deal of fighting in all the engagements; but he absolutely refused to be left behind. His brother had been shot at his side a few weeks before and he seemed possessed with the idea of avenging his death. Sgt. Cairns led four skirmishes that day on which more than 50 Germans paid with their lives for the death of his brother. It had been a day of incredible achievement for the 21-year old Canadian soldier. One of heroic service which won him the last Victoria Cross awarded for actions during World War I. He was buried on the field of honour."

As a one-time Saskatchewan resident, I now live in Paris, I am deeply in love with Military History. While reading a recent WWI history of France at war I saw a photo of a tank named after Hugh Cairns which had been donated by the citizens of Saskatoon to France and was simply amazed by it. I also found a photo of it in Saskatoon’s Local History Room. I find this is a wonderful example of Canadian/prairie spirit and reaching out to others. I am thus saddened that there isn’t more about this story. I am trying to discover the fate of this tank called ‘Ville de Saskatoon” and/or ‘Hugh Cairns’ (there is a street named after him here in France) and looking for anyone who might have leads or ideas about where to look. Did it ever get to France, was it demolished, buried or sold for scrap? Is it sitting in someone' backyard, or in a forgotten museum? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Sgt. Hugh Cairns VC.

Canadian Expeditionary Forces 46th Btn. Saskatchewan Regiment.

from:Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

(d.2nd Nov 1918)

High Cairns died of wounds on the 2nd of November 1918 and is buried in the Auberchicourt British Cemetery in France. He was the son of George H. and Elizabeth D. Cairns, of 832, Avenue G North, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

An extract from The London Gazette, No. 31155, dated 28th Jan., 1919, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery before Valenciennes on 1st November, 1918, when a machine gun opened on his platoon. 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. 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. 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."


Bty Sjt Mjr. J. Cairns

British Army 102nd Bde. D Bty Royal Field Artillery

(d.28th May 1917)


L/Cpl. James Lawson Cairns DCM. MID.

British Army 9th Btn. Royal Scots

from:Roydon, Langholm, Dumfriesshire

Lawson Cairns was posted to France, departing by train from Edinburgh and arriving at Le Havre on February 26th 1915. He was made a Medical Orderly on 22nd March 1915 and continued in this role throughout the war. His niece has 2 diaries written in pencil starting on 26.02.1915 and ending on 2nd Dec. 1917. He survived the war & received the DCM when he stayed with a wounded man for 2 days and a night in "no-mans' land. He was also mentioned in dispatches. He was gassed sometime during the war and his health was damaged in later life. He refused a commission as he was anti-war. His niece has transcribed the diaries and intends to donate a copy to the Royal Scots' Museum at Edinburgh Castle.


James C. Cairns DCM

Australian Imperial Force 44th Btn.

My Great Grandfather, James C Cairns, was awarded the DCM for his actions on the 26th August 1918. He was involved in supplying the Australian Army with provisions by horse drawn wagons. Units at Villers-Bretonnuex were 44th Australian Division A.F. Battalion, 51st Highlanders and 12th Battalion A.F. Cheshire Regt.

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