The information displayed here is at the time of death.
Sidney Howard Cunningham was born in the Edge Hill area of Liverpool in July 1891, the son of James and Hilda Cunningham. He attended Bede College 1910-1912, gaining his teacher's certificate, and seems to have enlisted in 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, Territorial Force, during his time in Durham. He re-enlisted on 18 September 1914 at Durham as Private 2908, but was soon promoted to Corporal, on 9 December 1914. The following day, for unknown reasons he was transferred to the Northumbrian Divisional Cyclist Company, a unit of the Army Cyclist Corps. A brother, A. H. Cunningham, later served in the 171th Chinese Labour Company and survived the war having attained the rank of Lieutenant. Sidney left for France with A Company on 19 April 1915 from Southampton, disembarking the following day at Le Havre. The 50th Division was thrown into action in the Ypres Salient almost immediately and suffered heavy losses. By the end of May most of the infantry had been distributed as reinforcements to other divisions and the Cyclist Company was working with the Cavalry Corps on repairing trenches around Bellewarde. Sidney Cunningham is recorded as having been killed in action on 24 May 1915, aged 23. The Germans launched a heavy assault on the British lines early on that morning with artillery and gas and he was probably killed somewhere between Armagh Wood and Bellewarde Lake. His grave, if he ever had one, has been lost and his name is commemorated at the Menin Gate in Ypres, and also on the Bede College 1914-1918 Cross, Plaque, and Roll of Honour.
Place of birth: Edge Hill, Liverpool
Place of residence: 51 Kelso Road, Fairfield, Liverpool
Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Bede College 1914-1918 Cross, Plaque, and Roll of Honour
Image of the Army Cyclist Corps cap badge, taken by Günther Lux and published at Europeana 1914-1918, is reproduced under CC BY-SA 3.0 licence
Clive Bowery; David Butler; Joyce Malcolm
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