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Michael Cunningham

Rank: Private
Townland: Drumeel
Town/Village: Ballinalee
Civil Parish: Clonbroney
Catholic Parish: Clonbroney
Alternative Address: Moatfarrell, Co. Longford;
Census 1901: Likely serving with the Leinster Regiment in South Africa
Census 1911: Resident at Drummeel
Regiment/Unit: Leinster Regiment, 7th Battalion, 'B' Company & 20th General Hospital Dannes-Camiers, France/ [Leinster Regiment, 1st Battalion]
Regiment Number: 5173/ [5226]
Date of Death: 12-06-1917
Cause: Died of Wounds, France
Memorial: Etaples Military Cemetery, France

Michael was born 26 April 1872 in Drummeel.  Michael had a long military career, initially serving with the local militia before enlisting with the 1st Leinsters in October 1897. He served overseas in Canada, and South Africa including the Second Boer War. He completed his initial army service in 1910, after serving eight years with the colours and four years in the reserves. 

Prior to his death, Pte Cunningham served as a stretcher-bearer, attached to the 20th General Hosptial in Camiers, France. Although at the time of his death his battalion and company were serving in the Battle of Messines in Belgium, it is possible that Michael remained at Camiers and received his fatal wounds at a battlefield in this area. 

Michael was the uncle of Lizzie McDonagh, of Earl's Court Road, London, who published a moving poem dedicated to her late uncle in the Longford Leader of the 15 September 1917, the final verse reads: 

We think of him in silence, 

His name we oft recall, 

But there is nothing left to answer, 

But his photo on the wall. 


Parents Names: Son of Michael Cunningham and Martha (née Dimond) of Drumeel, Moatfarrell, Co. Longford
Notes: .

Link to CWGC entry; link to Longford Leader, Sept 1917, poem; historic image of Dannes Camiers with the 20th Gen Hosp., shared by Maud Kealy, Flickr

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