|Place of birth||Miller's Point, New South Wales|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||27 Theodore Street, Balmain, New South Wales|
|Age at embarkation||21|
|Next of kin||Father, R Cairns, 27 Theodore Street, Balmain, New South Wales|
|Previous military service||Served for 2 years in the Senior Cadets; 2 years in the 29th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces.|
|Place of enlistment||Warwick Farm, New South Wales|
|Rank on enlistment||Private|
|Unit name||2nd Battalion, 11th Reinforcement|
|AWM Embarkation Roll number||23/19/2|
|Embarkation details||Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on
|Regimental number from Nominal Roll||3273A|
|Rank from Nominal Roll||Private|
|Unit from Nominal Roll||53rd Battalion|
|Other details from Roll of Honour Circular||Enlisted, 11 August 1915 - 2nd Bn, 11th Reinforcments; taken on strength, 53rd Bn, 16 February 1916.|
|Fate||Killed in Action
|Place of death or wounding||Battle of Fromelles, France|
|Age at death||22|
|Place of burial||No known grave|
|Commemoration details||V.C. Corner (Panel No 7), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France|
|Panel number, Roll of Honour,|
Australian War Memorial
War service: Egypt, Western Front
Allotted to and proceeded to join 53rd Bn, Tel el Kebir, 16 February 1916.
Reallotted Regimental No 3273A.
Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 28 June 1916.
Found guilty, 11 July 1916, of breach of March discipline: awarded 168 hours' Field Punishment No 2.
Reported missing in action, 19 July 1916.
Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 2 September 1917, pronounced fate as 'killed in action, 19 July 1916'.
Red Cross File No 670412 has statement, 28250 Sergeant H.L. HARRISON, 53rd Bn, 28 April 1919: 'Referring to 3273A Pte J.D. Cairns. "D" Coy. 53rd Bttn. I was in the action of 19.7.16 at Fleurbaix. I saw Cairns lying on the ground but am not certain whether it was between our first and second lines or in "No Man's Land". He appeared to be dead.'
Second statement, 3235A, R.J. VASSETT, 53rd Bn, 12 February 1917: 'I saw him wounded in the body at Fleurbaix on 19-7-16. He asked me to dress him; we were charging at the time and I could not stop. I did not seem a bad wound. The shell hole was about mid-way in No Mans (sic) Land, and we had to retire later on. I do not know what became of him as I started on again as soon as I got my wind.' Note on file: 'Informant was unsatisfactory in that he would not give further details.'Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
|Sources||NAA: B2455, CAIRNS James David|