Cunningham, Thomas Edward (755)
Place of Birth: Port Chalmers, New Zealand
Age: 34 years
Enlistment Details: Monday, 17 August 1914 – Melbourne, VIC
Service Number: 755 view online service record
145 Arden Street
North Melbourne, VIC
Next of Kin:
Irene Cunninghan (daughter)
St Vincent de Paul Orphanage
South Melbourne, VIC
Date: Monday, 19 October 1914
Ship: HMAT Hororata A20
Port: Melbourne, VIC
Unit: 6th Infantry Battalion
RTA: Tuesday, 13 February 1917
Discharged: Saturday, 2 June 1917
1917 ‘ELECTRIC SPARKS.’, Port Melbourne Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1920), 27 October, p. 3. , viewed 11 Oct 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88369456
From Thomas Cunningham’s War Service Record it is difficult to get the full story of why he went to the front leaving his daughter, Irene at the St Vincent de Paul Orphanage in South Melbourne.
When he enlisted he identified himself as a widower and appears to be a career soldier with over 14 years military service prior to his enlistment in the AIF in the early days WWI. There are several communications from the military authorities to Miss I Cunningham informing her of her father’s various wounds and periods of hospitalisation as well as his anticipated return to Melbourne in March 1917.
We do know that the family were reunited on his return to Australia because in June 1917, he and Irene, as his dependant daughter, were awarded military pensions and were both living at 125 Stanley Street, North Melbourne.