June 6, 1916 War Diary entry relates that Sergeant Cunningham was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
53646 Sjt. R. Cunningham. 18th Canadian Infy. Bn:
For consistent gallantry, notably during a heavy bombardment, he carried wounded men from the front line into safety, and also, by daylight and in full view of the enemy carried supplies to an isolated post.
Supplement to the London Gazette
27 July 1916
Sergeant Cunningham mentioned in a letter:
From An Old Friend
Mr. Jas. Campbell, formerly of McKillop, near Walton, but now of London, Ontario, writes to us from that place as follows:
I want you just to let my many old friends in Huron and especially in McKillop, know that I am still in the land of the living and enjoying life. I am working at the McClarey [McClary] foundry where I have been steadily engaged for over thirty years. This establishment was kept going well during the winter considering the dull times. This company has a number of stoves to be sued for war purposes. They are constructed so a team of horses can draw them and cooking can be done on them while they are being drawn along the road. The store is quite an extensive affair and each one costs from $1,200 to $1,500. They supplied work to this factory during the dull spell. There have been 100 moulders at work all winter but the usual complement is about two hundred.
This war is a terrible thing and it makes me sad to think that so many of our bright young Canadian boys are getting mowed down, but they die in a noble cause. There are, no doubt, some good people among the Germans but those who control the destinies of that country must have a queer idea of civilization and Christianity when they order and counsel such dastardly mean for the destruction of men and property as they employ.
We have a large body of soldiers in London drilling and among them many from old Huron [County]. We have had the pleasure of a call from some of them. R. Cunningham[i] called on us the night before he went away to say good-bye. We are all very sorry to see him go, he is such a fine boy. We also had the pleasure of a visit from Joseph Cline and Harry Smith from near Seaforth and Messrs. Dennison, McLeod, and Cleave McDonald from near Walton. Cunningham and Dennison left some time ago with the 18th Battalion and I expect they are at the front now.
Wishing to be kindly remembered to all old Huron friends.
Source: The Huron Expositor. May 21, 1915. Page 3.
[i] Sergeant Richard Cunningham, reg. no. 53646, D.S.C. served with the 18th Battalion until his death on June 6, 1916.