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Corporal John Cunningham from Thurles.
Corporal John Cunningham from Thurles.

WW1 and the GAA - John Cunningham

_Some notable GAA figures were involved in the First World War between July 28, 1914 and November 11, 1918

Corporal John Cunningham from Thurles, was a member of his local GAA club. During the First World War he served with the Leinster Regiment. He was posthumously offered the Victoria Cross for ‘most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty’ in 1917. His mother travelled to Buckingham Palace in London to accept the Victoria Cross from King George V.

Described by an officer who served with Cunningham in the Leinster Regiment as ‘the bravest deed of the war’, Cunningham according to the Cork Examiner, fighting in France, ‘although wounded…when counter attacked by a party of twenty of the enemy, he exhausted his ammunition again them, then, standing in full view, he commenced 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 exhausted’. He died soon afterwards from his wounds in a nearby hospital.

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