Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John Cunningham, VC (Irish)
For details of Private John Cunningham, who won the VC in 1916, please see John Cunningham, VC (English).
John Cunningham (October 22, 1890 - April 16, 1917) was an Irish 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 26 years old, and a Corporal in the 2nd Bn., The Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment , British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
- On 12 April 1917 at Bois-en-Hache , near Barlin, France, Corporal Cunningham was in command of a Lewis gun section which came under a very heavy enfilade fire. Although wounded, he succeeded, almost alone, in reaching the objective with his gun which he got into action in spite of much opposition. When counter-attacked by a party of 20 Germans, he exhausted his ammunition against them and then started throwing bombs. He was wounded again and fell, but picked himself up and continued to fight single-handed with the enemy until his bombs were finished. He then made his way back to the British 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.
He later died from the effects of his wounds.
The medal is not publicly displayed.
- Irish Winners of the Victoria Cross (Richard Doherty & David Truesdale, 2000)
- Monuments To Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
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