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 John Cunningham

John Cunningham

Birth
Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland
Death 16 Apr 1917 (aged 26)
Barlin, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Burial Barlin, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Plot I.A.39.
Memorial ID 9686468 · View Source
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World War I Victoria Cross Recipient. A native of Ireland, he was gazetted for the award posthumously on June 6, 1917 for his actions as a corporal in the 2nd Battalion, Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment, British Army on April 12, 1917 at Bois-en-Hache, France during World War I. Born in Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland, he joined the British Army following the outbreak of World War I in July 1914 and was sent to the Western Front in France. He was mortally wounded in an enemy attack on his position on April 12, 1917 for which he won the Victoria Cross, and died at a hospital four days later in Barlin, France around the age of 26. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in command of a Lewis Gun Section on the most exposed flank of the attack (Bois-en-Hache, France). His section came under heavy enfilade fire and suffered severely. Although wounded, he succeeded almost alone in reaching his objective with his gun, which he got into action in spite of much opposition. When counter-attacked by a party of twenty of the enemy, he exhausted his ammunition against them, then, standing in full view, he commenced throwing bombs. He was wounded again, and fell, but picked himself and continued to fight single-handed with the enemy until his bombs were exhausted. He then made his way back to our lines with a fractured arm and other wounds. There is little doubt that the superb courage of this N.C.O. cleared up a most critical situation on the left flank of the attack. Corporal Cunningham died in hospital from the effects of his wounds." In addition to the Victoria Cross, he received the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal (1914-20), and the Victory Medal (1914-19). His Victoria Cross and other medals are on loan to the British Imperial War Museum in London, England.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 21 Oct 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9686468
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Cunningham (22 Oct 1890–16 Apr 1917), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9686468, citing Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension, Barlin, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .