Trench art ashtray : Gunner B H Cairnes, 1 Division Artillery, AIF

Accession Number REL/04707
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Trench Art
Physical description Copper
Maker Cleall, E H
Place made Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Cape Helles Area, Cape Helles
Date made 1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Circular copper ashtray with a decorative hand beaten edge. The top edge is impressed with the words 'PIECE OF DOME OF LIGHTHOUSE ON HELLES POINT GALLIPOLI. DEMOLISHED BY SHELL FROM H.M.S.PRINCE.OF WALES & LONDON.' and the bottom edge with 'DARDANELLES. 25TH.APRIL.1915.' In the centre of the ashtray is a hand etched kangaroo with grass in the foreground and three trees in the background. 'GUNNER.B.H.CAIRNES.' is impressed above the scene and '2ND.BATTERY.A.F.A.' beneath it.

History / Summary

Gunner Beresford Henry Cairnes was born on 29 March 1886 at Parramatta in New South Wales. Cairnes landed at Gallipoli as part of 1 Division Artillery late April or May 1915 and was wounded in July of the same year. In May 1916 he was commissioned and by the time of his discharge in 1919 he held the rank of captain in 2 Division Artillery. Cairnes was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry at Zonnebeke, in Belgium on 23 September 1917. After the end of the First World War he went to Ceylon to work on a tea plantation. He died at sea near Malta on 16 June 1930 on his way to England.