Assassination of Ralph Cairns

Ralph Cairns was a British police officer who was the commander of the Palestine police criminal investigation department until he was assassinated by Irgun in 1939. In April he investigated the deaths of two civilians and two British Police officers who were murdered in a bomb attack on a train . 


Cairns managed to break through to the community and traced this attack back to Avraham Stern whom at the time was still a member of Irgun. This, however, was the first time Sterns name had come to the attention of the Police . 

Rumours and propaganda spread throughout the Zionist communities calling for Cairns’ assassination after his promotion to inspector. Cairns’ colleague had the same role within the police but in a different location to him, his name was Ronald Barker.


Both Cairns and Barker were jointly assassinated by a landmine planted by Irgun on the 26th of August 1939.


Cairns left behind a pregnant fiancée at the time of his death who held a memorial every year on the anniversary of his death up until she passed in 2001.

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