[Transcript of Announcement of Award]
The London Gazette
of Tuesday, the 17th of May, 1949
Friday, 20 May, 1949
The War Office, 20th May, 1949
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the VICTORIA CROSS to :-
Lieutenant George Albert CAIRNS (198186) , The Somerset Light Infantry, attd. South Staffordshire Regiment.
On the 5th March, 1944, 77 Independent Infantry Brigade, of which the 1st South Staffordshire Regiment formed a part, landed by glider at Broadway (Burma).
On the 12th March, 1944, columns from the South Staffordshire Regiment and 3/6 Gurkha Rifles established a road and rail block across the Japanese lines of communications at Henu Block.
The Japanese counter-attacked this position heavily in the early morning of the 13th March, 1944, and the South Staffordshire Regiment was ordered to attack a hill-top which formed the basis of the Japanese attack.
During this action, in which Lieutenant Cairns took a foremost part, he was attacked by a Japanese officer, who, with his sword hacked off Lieutenant Cairns left arm. Lieutenant Cairns killed this Officer; picked up the sword and continued to lead his men in the attack and slashing left and right with the captured sword killed and wounded several Japanese before he himself fell to the ground.
Lieutenant Cairns subsequently died from his wounds.
His action so inspired all his comrades that, later the Japanese were
completely routed, a very rare occurrence at the time.