THE VICTORIA CROSS AWARDED TO CORPORAL JOHN CUNNINGHAM, 2ND BN, LEINSTER REGIMENT, HAS BEEN LOANED TO THE IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM.
August 2006


( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Corporal John Cunningham,
2nd Bn, Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment

  • Victoria Cross
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )


The Imperial War Museum in London has acquired on loan the Victoria Cross and campaign medals awarded to Corporal John Cunningham, 2nd Bn, Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment.


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 8 June 1917 ], Bois-en-Hache, France, 12 April 1917, Corporal John Cunningham, 2nd Bn, Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment.

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.


John Cunningham died of his wounds in hospital four days later on the 16th April 1917 and is buried in Barlin Communal Cemetery near Noeux-les-Mines, France.

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Iain Stewart, 1 November 2007