DIVISIONAL UNIT: 2nd Canadian Infantry Division
4th Infantry Brigade
18th Battalion - Western Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 53646
RESIDENCE: Clinton – Ontario
AWARDS: Distinguished Conduct Medal.
DATE OF BIRTH: May 11, 1893
McKillop Township – Huron County - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: June 6, 1916 23 years
CEMETERY: Bedford House Cemetery – Ieper –
West Vlaanderen – Belgium
Enclosure No. 41 M 3
PARENTS: David and Marion Cunningham – Brussels - Ontario
Occupation: Farmer Religion: Wesleyan
Enlistment: Clinton – October 24, 1914
Enlistment Age: 21 years 10 months
Private Cunningham was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on November 4, 1914.
Sergeant Cunningham sailed from Halifax on the SS Grampian in mid April of 1915 and arrived in England on
April 29, 1915. He then moved to the Moore Barracks at Shorncliffe - Kent which was a Canadian training base. He went overseas into France in September of 1915.
Sergeant Cunningham was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the citation reads: For consistent gallantry, notably when, during a heavy bombardment, he carried wounded men from the front line into safety, and also, by daylight and in full view of the enemy carried supplies to an isolated post. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal by the commander of the Canadian Corp Lieutentant-General Sir Julien Byng. This was then made official by His Majesty King George V.
On June 5th the 18th Battalion relieved the 20th Battalion and following this “A” Company was in Trench 23 and the crater, “B” Company was in Trench 29, “C” Company was in Trench 31 and “D” Company was in Trench 32.
There was rain in the morning of June 6th but it cleared later in the day. At 1:30 pm the enemy began to shell
Hill 60, the right sector and the Bluff. The trenches being shelled were Bean, Pollock and the reserve areas as well. A small enemy party snuck down an old trench penetrated the right portion of Bern and Pollock trenches and advanced upon the machine-gun positions and infantry. They were repelled.
During this period 10 men were killed and 30 were wounded.
We cannot say for certain if Sergeant Cunningham lost his life from the enemy artillery bombardment or when the enemy party tried penetrating the Battalion lines.
We can say with certainty that Sergeant Cunningham was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medals for his actions on the field of battle.