William Patrick CUNNINGHAM was born at Jerilderie during 1885. His parents were Mary CARROLL and William CUNNINGHAM. He was known as Billy and his occupation was as a farmer. Aged 28 and in 1916 he enlisted for service in the 56th Battalion AIF for WW1 service. He suffered gunshot wounds to the head in France in 1916. He returned to Australia in 1919. William remained single. According to information he had mouth injuries and would have found it difficult to eat, this is understandable with the head injuries he received during WW 1. William (Billy) CUNNINGHAM died aged 45 at Jerilderie NSW on the 27 April 1932 and is buried in the catholic section of the Jerilderie cemetery.
Obituary - William CUNNINGHAM
Newspaper ItemExtracted from the Jerilderie Herald and Urana Advertiser dated Thursday 28 April 1932
The friends of Mr. William Cunningham will regret to hear of his death which occurred at his sister's residence in Coreen Street early yesterday (Wednesday) morning. Deceased who was a returned soldier had been in indifferent health ever since his return from the war so that it may be said he was more or less an invalid for years past. He was 47 years of age and was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Cunningham, who were old residents of this district since 1875. The parents took up land in those days on South Coree, where deceased was born and reared. When the Great War broke out he enlisted and went to the front, where he remained till after the armistice, when the regiment he was serving in went to the Rhine. After peace arrangements had been concluded deceased was returned home. The hardships endured while on service affected his health and he never thoroughly recovered. When he enlisted he was in robust health. After his return he sought to acquire a portion of Crown Lands in this district but was unsuccessful. Deceased was one of a family of two sons and three daughters. His brother pre-deceased him some years ago, and two sisters are married, one living at Holbrook, and the other, now a widow, is living in Melbourne with her grown-up family. His other sister, Miss Ellen Cunningham resides in Jerilderie. He has other relatives living in this town and district. With the bereaved sisters and other relatives the sympathy of many friends is expressed. The remains will be interred in the R.C. portion of the Jerilderie cemetery this (Thursday) afternoon.
Military Funeral - William CUNNINGHAM
Newspaper ItemExtracted from the Jerilderie Herald and Urana Advertiser dated Thursday 5 May 1932
The first Jerilderie returned soldier to pass away locally since the war, the remains of the late Mr. Wm. Cunningham were on Thursday last buried with military honors. Some 20 odd diggers formed up in front of deceased's late residence in Mahonga Street and preceded the funeral cortege, marching with reversed arms. At the Soldiers Memorial in the main street four returned men were on guard and present arms as the funeral passed. At the graveside, following the service read by Rev. Father O'Neill, a firing party fired three volleys over the grave and the Last Post was sounded by Mr. M. Smith. It was a very impressive ceremony and the returned men's last respects to a comrade who passed away owing to his health being impaired through hardships endured on the other side.
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This is the final resting place of William Patrick CUNNINGHAM at Jerilderie Cemetery.