Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John Cunningham, VC (English)
John Cunningham (June 28, 1897 - February 21, 1941) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
He was 19 years old, and a Private in the 12th (Service) Battalion, (the Hull Sportsmen's Pals battalion), The East Yorkshire Regiment , 31st Division during the First World War, at the Battle of the Somme, when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
- On 13 November 1916, the opening day of the Battle of the Ancre (the final offensive of the Battle of the Somme), attacking from opposite Hebuterne the 31st Division was to seize the German trenches and form a defensive flank north of Serre . After the enemy's front line had been captured, Private Cunningham went with a bombing section up a communication trench where much opposition was met and all the rest of the section were either killed or wounded. Collecting all the bombs from the casualties Private Cunningham went on alone and when he had used up all the bombs he had he returned for a fresh supply and again went up the communication trench where he met a party of 10 Germans. He killed all 10 and cleared the trench up to the new line.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the The Prince of Wales Own Regiment of Yorkshire Museum in York, England.
- Monuments To Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - The Somme (Gerald Gliddon, 1994)
- Location of grave and VC medal (East Yorkshire)
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