During the night and for some time the
following morning the Russians made repeated attempts to
recapture the rifle pits but the British party under the
leadership of Lieutenant (Brevet Captain) Cuninghame and
Lieutenant (Brevet Major) Bourchier held out against
superior numbers until they were relieved by another
party from their own regiment.
For their actions during the initial
attack and the subsequent defence of the rifle pits
against superior forces, Lieutenant Bourchier and
Cuninghame were Gazetted on 24th February 1857 for the
award of the Victoria Cross and this was presented on
26th June 1857 in Hyde Park, London, when Her Majesty
Queen Victoria held the first investiture of the award.
Lieutenant Cuninghame V C eventually
attained the rank of Colonel and whilst he was still
serving his wife Elizabeth Hartopp resided at Glenmoor
House where she raised their family of two sons and six
daughters, three of whom died in infancy. In 1870
Colonel Cuninghame succeeded to the family title as 9th
Bart and in 1874 he retired from the army with 24 years
and 4 months service.
He continued to reside with his family at
Glenmoor House which he later renamed Kirkbride House.
He served as Tory Member of Parliament for Ayr from 1874
to 1880 and this may well have been his reason for
ending his military career. He took a keen interest in
local affairs in the Parish of Kirkmichael and the
neighbouring parishes as well.
Colonel Sir William James Montgomery
Cuninghame, V C 9th Bart died on 11th November 1897
whilst at Gunton Old Hall, Lowestoft, Suffolk and was
buried in the family plot in
Kirkmichael Churchyard on
17th November 1897.
His eldest son Colonel Thomas Andrew A M
Cuninghame, DSO, served in the same regiment as his
father whom he succeeded as 10th Bart. It was he who
sold Kirkbride to the Houldsworth family in 1916 who had
rented the property in 1906.