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Sergeant Herbert Lorraine Cunningham
Herbert   Lorraine   Cunningham   was   born   on   April   24,   1891.      His   mother Leona   May,   and   father   John   lived      on   the   Hawk,   Cape   Sable   Island.      Herb   had three older sisters, Geneva, Mary and Imogine. In   a   predominately   small   community   such   as   the   Hawk,   fishing   was   the average man’s profession. His father was a ship’s engineer.   When   Herb   was   seven   years   old   his   father   died.   During   those   days   when a   parent   died   in   a   family   occasionally   the   family   was   broken   up   and   some   of the   children   went   to   live   with   relatives.      Herb   and   his   sister   Mary   went   to   live with his Aunt Gustie, and uncle Marshall at the Hawk.    Herb   had   picked   up   his   fathers   profession   and   worked   at   the   Cape   Sable lighthouse   for   three   years   as   the   assistant   for   his   uncle Arthur   Cunningham.   He was   an   adventurous   boy   who   loved   to   fish.   His   daughter,   Betty,   told   a   story   her father   had   told   her   about   a   time   when   he   was   a   teenager.      “Herb,   as   a   young boy   was   going   home   with   some   of   his   friends   for   the   night.   One   of   Herb’s friends,   Arnold   Lowe,   was   scared   of   the   dark.   Herb   told   his   friend   Arnold   that he   would   walk   him   home   that   night   only   if   Arnold   piggybacked   him   the   whole way.” On   April   12,   1915,      at   the   age   of   24,      Herb   enlisted   in   Yarmouth,   N.S. with   the   40th   Battalion.         Since   Herb   was   well   educated   and   an   engineer   he was   given   the   rank   of   Sergeant   in   the   40th   Battalion.   He   went   overseas   to England   with   the   40th   Battalion;   however,   with   a   desire   to   join   the   battle   in France,   on   March   15,   1916   he   took   a   reduction   in   rank   to   Private   and   joined the   60th   Battalion.      A   few   days   after   he   had   joined   the   60th   Battalion   he   was shipped to France. In   May   of   1915,   the   60th   Canadian   Infantry   Battalion   was   first   organized under   command   of   Lieutenant   Colonel   F.   A.   Gascoigne,   and   was   mobilized   in Montreal,   Canada.   On   November   6,   1915   the   Battalion   left   from   Montreal   and boarded   the   ship   “Scandinavian”.   The   ship   arrived   in   England   and   unloaded   on November   16   of   that   same   year.   The   Battalion   was   comprised   of   40   officers and   had   1024   men   classified   into   other   ranks.   On   February   20,   1916   the Battalion   arrived   in   France   where   they   met   up   with   the   23rd   Canadian   Reserve Battalion.      However,   in   April   the   23rd   Battalion   was   withdrawn,   and   the   60th Battalion   was   joined   with   the   116th   Battalion.   The   60th   (the   Victoria   Rifles   of Canada) was part of the Third Canadian Division. On   July   15,   1916,   Herb   was   promoted   to   Lance   Corporal,   and   then   on October 8  was promoted to Corporal.   In April, 1917 he was at Vimy Ridge. Herb   was   wounded   on   April   13,   1917.      He   was   hit   by   enemy   shrapnel   on the   outside   in   the   middle   of   his   left   thigh.   The   cut   was   approximately   3”   by 4”.   It   wasn’t   until   April   3rd   that   he   was   admitted   to   the   Canadian   General Hospital   in   Boulogne.   He   was   then   transferred      moved   to   the   East   Leeds   War Hospital, Harehills, Yorkshire, England. His   medical   records   stated   that   he   had   been   hit   by   a   shell   shrapnel,   and it   had   wounded   him   on   the   thigh   of   his   left   leg.      When   the   wound   healed   it   left a   scar   3”by   4”,   it   was   slightly   tender,   and   was   partly   attached   to   the   muscle below   it,   resulting   in   small   loss   of   muscle   tissue.   His   left   leg   was   one   inch smaller   that   his   right   leg.   Hospital   officials   concluded   that   after   walking   one mile   Herb   left   leg   would   grow   tired   and   sore,   and   in   wet   and   cold   weather   his symptoms   would   worsen.   He   walked   with   a   slight   limp   and   sometimes   his   toes of   the   left   foot   would   drop   and   drag.   He   suffered   hearing   loss   in   his   left   ear which   had   been   brought   on   from   a   concussion.   Descendants   of   Herb   remember his   left   leg   being   abnormally   small   compared   to   his   right   leg   due   to      loss   of muscle. During   the   month   of   November   1917,   Herb   experienced   deafness   and discharge   of   fluid   from   his   left   ear.   In   his   right   ear   he   could   hear   a   whisper from   a   distance   of   4   feet   away,   and   he   could   hear   a   voice   from   a   distance   of 20   feet   away.      In   his   left   ear   he   could   not   hear   a   thing.   He   was   told   to continually   wipe   his   ears   and   to   use   a   solution   of   alcohol   and   borasic   drops three times a day until otherwise stated. Grace   Elizabeth Ayres   from   Newbury,   Berkshire,   England   was   a   volunteer at   the   hospital.      Herb   was   there   for   six   months   and   during   his   stay   he      became acquainted   with   Elizabeth.      A   romance   followed   and   on      October   24,   1918, Herb was granted permission to marry Grace. Now   27   years   old   and   considered   medically   unfit,   Herb   arrived   back   in Halifax   on   December   31,   1918   and   was   discharged   on   February   18,   1919.   Upon his discharge he was given a post discharge pay of $515.00.   Herb   returned   to   Yarmouth   with   his   wife   and   in   1922   took   a   position   as   a Light   Keeper,   at   the   Cape   Forchu   Light   station.      Through   the   years   Grace   and Herb had six children. Betty   could   recall   of   some   of   the   things   her   father   could   never   eat,   one being   orange   marmalade   because   it   reminded   him   of   one   of   his   fellows   being killed;   another   margarine,   because   it   was   fed   to   them   so   much   during   the   war. He   didn’t   like   the   fact   that   it   was   artificially   coloured   and   he   couldn’t   stand eating   something   he   didn’t   like   to   look   at.   He   also   did   not   like   corned   beef   for it was rationed to him so much during the war. In   1908   the   Canadian   government   in   partnership   with   a   company   in Boston   installed   one   of   three   experimental   navigation   systems   at   Cape   Forchu. The   system   consisted   of   two   submarine   bells   mounted   on   metal   tripods   at   the bottom   of   the   sea   some   distance   off   the   end   of   Cape   Forchu.   Cables   ran   from the    bells    to    a    building    attached    to    the    fog    alarm    building    at    the    Cape. Electrical   signals   caused   these   bells   to   ring   in   a   preset   pattern.   Ships   with microphones   mounted   to   the   inside   of   their   hulls   on   both   sides   could   listen   to these   bells   from   some   distance   and   determine   the   bearing   to   the   site.   The system   was   out   of   service   by   1914   due   to   difficulties   keeping   the   system operational.   The   idea   of   underwater   sound   propagation   however   led   to   the development   of   sonar   and   the   Boston   Company   became   the   modern   day   huge organization, Raytheon. In   1927   Herb   noted   in   his   journal   that   a   cable   ship   had   arrived   to   remove the “submarine” cables running off the Cape. In   November   1939   light   keepers   along   the   east   coast   of   the   Maritimes became   part   of   the   coastal   defence   system.   The   Department   of   Transport provided   a   set   of   instructions   and   code   words   to   each   lighthouse.   A   radio message   was   sent   out   every   four   instructed   each   light   keeper   about   how   he should   operate   their   lights   and   fog   horns   during   the   subsequent   period.   A   for Apples   meant   that   all   was   okay   and   normal   operation   of   lights   and   fog   alarms could   continue.   If   a   submarine   was   reported   to   be   working   in   a   particular   area B   for   Butter   meant   extinguish   your   lights   and   fog   alarm,   there   are   unfriendly visitors   are   in   your   area.   C   for   Charlie   was   the   signal   that   B   was   cancelled   and normal operation could be resumed. In   May   1940,   the   Royal   Canadian Air   Force   (RCAF)   established   the Aircraft Detection   Corps   (ADC)   to   provide   additional   protection   along   Canada’s   coast line   until   the   time   when   enough   operational   radar   sites   had   been   constructed. Official   observation   posts   were   usually   positioned   in   a   location   with   a   good communication connection like lighthouses. Like   most   light   keepers   Herb   was   the   chief   observer   for   the   Cape   Forchu observation   post   area.   He   preformed   this   role   with   the   same   dedication   to duty as he showed during the First World War. Herb   continued   living   at   Cape   Forchu   until   his   death   on   February   26, 1982.   Sources: Library and Archives Canada (Attestation Paper)  School Project by Kerry Lynn Sweeney Mike Cunningham (Grandson of Herbert Cunningham)
Herbert Cunningham - WWI
Pre-World War I Herbert Cunningham - Beach at Cape Sable Island after Storm
Sergeant Herbert Cunningham -  WWI
 Herbert Cunningham -  Leaving Yarmouth WWI (1915)
Sergeant Herbert Lorraine Cunningham   Force: Army Regiment: Canadian Infantry Battalion: 40th Battalion Regimental Number: 415681 Date of Birth: April 24, 1891 Place of Birth: Clark’s Harbour, Nova Scotia Place of Enlistment: Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: April 12, 1915 Age at Enlistment: 24 Height: 5 Feet 10 Inches Trade: Engineer Marital Status: Single Religion: Wesleyan Next of Kin: (Mother) Mrs Isaac Mitchell, Yarmouth,  Nova Scotia Saw service in: Europe     Listed on the Nominal Roll of the 40th Battalion