L.C. Mullick - Photograher
Bruce Road, Quetta, India
This cabinet photograph, identified on the reverse as Bombardier Sturgeon, 3rd Mountain Battery, Royal Artillery
has been posted here at Soldiers of the Queen almost since the website’s inception and during the intervening years
had defied my attempts at researching the subject of the photograph. As is standard practice, I revisited the
photograph recently and believe to have finally identified and connected Bombardier Sturgeon with a set of service
records some ten years after that initial posting.
Alexander James Henry Sturgeon was born about 1876 at Exworth, Suffolk, England, the son of Nathan Sturgeon.
He attested with the Royal Artillery as Gunner No. 18518 on 6 February 1897 and was posted to 10 Coy on 20
April, 1897 with promotions and postings as follows:
Granted good conduct pay – 6 February 1899
Posted 3rd Mountain Battery, R.A. – 15 March 1899
Appointed Acting Bombardier – 12 March 1901
Granted 2nd good conduct pay – 6 February 1903
Promoted Bombardier – 1 January 1904
Extended service to 8 years – 4 May 1904
Extended service to 12 years – 24 October 1904
Re-engaged at Peshawar to complete 21 years – 9 May 1908
Promoted Sergeant – 22 February 1910
Posted 4th Highland (Mountain) Brigade, R. G. A. – 21 February 1912
Appointed Acting Battery Sergeant Major – 20 July 1915
Promoted Battery Sergeant Major – 4 September 1915
Promoted Warrant Officer 2nd Class – January 1916
Awarded Long Service & Good Conduct Medal with Gratuity – 2 January, 1919
Discharged – 10 May 1919
Sturgeon’s home and overseas posting prior to World War One consisted of:
Home: 6 February, 1897 – 14 March 1899
India: 15 March, 1899 – 29 March 1911
Egypt: 30 March, 1911 – 20 February 1912
Home: 21 February 1912.
Prior to the outbreak of the First World War Sturgeon’s service consisted of garrison duty at home, in India a
briefly in Egypt. One of the “Old Contemptibles” he missed the opening days on the Western Front but embarked
at Avonmouth with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on 21 March 1915.
After a brief stop at Alexandria, Egypt, Sergeant Alexander James Henry Sturgeon took part in the first day’s
landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. At Gallipoli Sturgeon would receive his promotions to Acting and Battery
Sergeant Major. On 9 September 1915 he was posted to Ross Battery (4 – 10 pounder mountain guns) at Mudros
Bay and was admitted to the hospital with jaundice at Mudros on 11 September and rejoined Ross Battery at Suvla
Bay on 18 September. Ross Battery was evacuated from Gallipoli on 9 December 1915 and arrived in Egypt on 21
December, Sturgeon receiving his promotion to Warrant Officer in January 1916.
Still posted to Ross Battery, Sturgeon embarked at Alexandria for Solonika on 6 August 1916 arriving at his new
theater of operations on 9 August 1916. He would spend the rest of his active war time field service in Solonika. On
21 March 1917 he was granted two weeks winter leave in the U.K.
The war ended with Sturgeon and Ross Battery still deployed in Solonika and he did not embark for home and
demobilization until 30 March 1919, receiving his final discharge on 10 May, 1919.
For his war time service Sturgeon would receive the 1915 Star and the British War and Victory Medals.
During his long enlistment Sturgeon would receive 3rd, 2nd and 1st Class certificates of education (1897-1904) and
passed the small arms course at Enfield (1912).
While on furlough home from India in 1905 Sturgeon would marry Miss Emma Sarah Bull at London on 19
December. The couple would have at least two sons, both born after their parents had returned to India – Sidney
born at Quetta on 6 June 1905 and Maurice born at Kalabagh on 28 July 1909.
Mr. Mark Watson, archivist for the Royal Park Keepers/Constables kindly provided additional details of
Sturgeon's post service life. Sturgeon was appointed to the Royal Park Keepers on 25 July 1921 at Hampton
Court/Bushy Park and was still employed there as late as 1936. He was also enrolled a Yeoman of the Guard
(Fourth Division) in 1924.
He died at North Bucks, Buckinghamshire in September 1963.