BWM, VM, RFR LS&GC, Messina 1908, RMA Medal
British War Medal and Victory Medal (R.M.A. 8590 Sgt), Royal Fleet Reserve LSGC Medal, GV (Admiral head) (RMA 8590 Ply A1581 CR SGT, RMA), Messina Earthquake Medal 1908, Royal Marine Artillery Medal. VF swing mounted
James Sturgess, 8590 Colour Sergeant, Royal Marine Artillery was born in Hampshire in 1881 and enlisted in the RMA in 1899. He was drafted to the Albion in China, the Centurion at Portsmouth and the Exmouth in the Mediterranean. The Exmouth took part in the relief operations after southern Italy was devastated by a powerful earthquake.
In 1913 Sturgess qualified as a Gunlayer 1st Class and the following year was drafted to the super-dreadnought Orion in which he served until 1920. Generally the Royal Marines manned the ‘X’ turret on battleships. She took part in the Battle of Jutland and was credited with several hits on the enemy.
In the early years of his career Sturgess’s conduct was not always ‘Very Good’ and he did not qualify for the RN LSGC Medal. However, he joined the Royal Fleet Reserve when he retired in 1920 and was awarded the RFR LSGC in 1925.
Note: Sturgess served at sea from the beginning of the First World War but, for some reason, was never issued with the 1914-15 Star (confirmed by medal roll). This is his complete group.
The last medal is an unofficial medal in hallmarked silver; the reverse reads “Trained Soldiers.”