Lance Corporal Frederick James Cunningham


Frederick James Cunningham was born on 23 April 1881 at Killysavan, Poyntzpass, County Down, the fourth of seven children of farmer James Cunningham and his wife Annie Elizabeth (nee Rantin). By 1911 he was living at Killysavan with his mother and one sister and working as an agricultural labourer.

Cunningham enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Newry on 8 December 1909 (No.429), understating his age by four years. He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

On 19 April 1915 he was deprived of his lance corporal's stripe for neglect of duty whilst in charge of a guard.

On 1 April 1917 Cunningham was posted to the 352nd Electrical and Mechanical Company, Railway Operating Division, Royal Engineers, as a sapper. He was formally transferred to this unit on 4 June 1917 (No.247842).

Cunningham returned to the UK on 2 January 1919 and was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 19 February that year.

On 18 January 1919 he was one of a number of servicemen awarded a Meritorious Service Medal "in recognition of valuable service rendered with the Armies in France and Flanders".

After the war Cunningham returned to farming at Killysavan. He died there on 14 July 1961.