Sergeant Major Patrick Cunningham “was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1842. He came to Canada at the time the Trent affair was likely to lead to war between Great Britain and the United States, with the 16th Foot, under the command of Colonel Peacock, and remained in Montreal about two years.
In 1863 he came to Toronto and assisted in establishing the first military school in Canada. After handing it over to the 47th Regiment, he did duty in several cities of Western Canada, and also at the Thorold Instructive Camp, all in connection with the service.
In 1867 he gave up matters military, and entered the Railway Company’s service for three years, part of which time he acted as conductor. A knowledge of carpentering gave him the opportunity of exercising his talents in that direction for ten years, and even now he occasionally handles the tools of his trade.
Mr. Cunningham has been a member of the Queen’s Own for eleven years, ten of which he has occupied the honourable position of Sergeant-Major.”
From the History of Toronto and County of York, Ontario, Biographical notices, published in 1885.
We know he was Sergeant Major from 1879 to 1886.
Cunningham also served as the Sergeant Major in the North West Campaign.
Born: 1842, Dublin, Ireland
Former Service: 16th Regiment British Army under command of Colonel Peacock
Trade: Railway Service
Date of attestation: 1863
Timeline of service:
- 1863, came to Toronto to assist in establishing the first military school in Canada;
- 1866, participated as part of the 16th Foot in Fenian Raids;
- 1877, listed as Armory Sgt Belleville riots;
- 1877 June 13, appointed as Acting Sergeant Major, regimental orders;
- 1877-78, listed as Sergeant Major, D Company’s nominal roll Annual Drill;
- 1878-79, listed as Sergeant Major, D Company’s nominal roll Annual Drill;
- 1879, in photo of Staff Sergeants;
- 1879 Aug 8, appointed Sergeant Major, Regimental Orders;
- 1880 1 March, received 6 year good service badge;
- 1880-81, listed as Sergeant Major, D Company’s nominal roll Annual Drill;
- 1881-82, listed as Sergeant Major, D Company’s nominal roll Annual Drill;
- 1882-83, listed as Sergeant Major, D Company’s nominal roll Annual Drill;
- 1885, listed as Sergeant Major during North-West Rebellion;
- 1886, listed as Sgt Major in photo of Sergeant’s Mess.