John Cunningham, Moyvoughley, Moate, County Westmeath, Ireland | John Cunningham
John Cunningham, Moyvoughley, Moate, County Westmeath, Ireland
John Cunningham was born at Moyvoughley, Moate Co. Westmeath on 12 July 1884 to Michael Cunningham and his wife Marcella, nee Carney. The Cunninghams were a Catholic family and Michael was employed as a shepherd on the Maher Estate in Moyvoughley. John entered Moyvoughley National School in 1889. In the 1901 Census John was returned as a 'scholar'. He emigrated to Canada before 1911. Three of his brothers, Thomas, James and Joseph, also emigrated to North America.
On 12 June 1915 John enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force. He was a resident of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and he was described in his enlistment papers as a farmer. The same source notes his existing attachment to the 106th Regiment, Winnipeg Light Infantry. This regiment was raised by Daniel McClean. It became part of the 10th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The battalion was awarded twenty battle honours for service in France and Flanders.
John served on the Western Front during World War One. His regimental number was 229349. He returned to Canada after the war. He worked for Canadian Rail and died about 1956. He received a mention in a chapter on World War One soldiers in the local history book Moyvoughley and its Hinterland, published by the Moyvoughley Historical Committee in 1999.
John's grand-nephew Peter Cunningham currently resides at Moyvoughley with his family. He is a grandson of John's elder-brother Michael. Three of John's nieces and one of his nephews are living as of April 2012.
Item One: A letter written by John Cunningham to his sister Mary at the end of World War One. John describes himself as 'in the best of health', comments on the death of his mother and enquires after the health of his father. He also explains that he had not written sooner because he did not want his family to know that he was in the army: 'i thought it would make you worry for me'. The undated letter is addressed from Shorncliffe, Kent, England and includes John's regimental number, 229349.
Item Two: A photograph of the birthplace of John Cunningham at Moyvoughley, Moate, Co. Westmeath.