Sturgeon, John (No. D/JX 148794)

Sturgeon, John

Able Seaman

No. D/JX 148794, HMS Courageous, Royal Navy

Died as the result of enemy action on Sunday 17 September 1939 (aged 28)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England (Panel 33 Column 3)

Comber and District War Memorial

First Comber Presbyterian Church (as Gunner John Sturgeon)

BIOGRAPHY

John Sturgeon was born on 13 May 1911 and he was a son of James and Isabella Sturgeon (nee Hedley) of Mill Street, Comber.  James Sturgeon worked as a bread server and he and Isabella Hedley were married on 16 November 1909 in First Comber Presbyterian Church.  James Sturgeon from Comber was a son of John Sturgeon, a farmer.  Isabella Hedley from Comber was a daughter of Joseph Hedley, a gas manager.

James and Isabella Sturgeon (nee Hedley) had eight children, all of whom were baptised in First Comber Presbyterian Church:

Joseph Hedley (born 11 June 1910 in Mill Street, Comber)

William Hedley (born 2.45am 13 May 1911 in Mill Street, Comber; died of peritonitis 5 August 1911)

John (born 3.00am 13 May 1911 in Mill Street, Comber)

James (born 29 December 1912 in Mill Street, Comber)

William (born 2 January 1915 in Mill Street, Comber)

Agnes Thompson (born 14 June 1916 in Mill Street, Comber)

Isabella (born 31 July 1918 in Mill Street, Comber)

Samuel (born 29 December 1923)

John Sturgeon joined the Royal Navy and in September 1939 he was serving aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous.  Built as a battle cruiser in 1916 by Armstrong Whitworth in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, HMS Courageous was reconstructed as an aircraft carrier in the 1920s.  On 17 September 1939 she was being escorted by four destroyers when she was sunk by the German submarine U-29 about 190 miles south-west of Dursey Head, Co. Cork.  At around 7.50 pm she was struck on the port side by two torpedoes and sank 17 minutes later.

Able Seaman John Sturgeon (No. D/JX 148794) was one of around 520 men who died (her complement was around 750 naval ratings and 470 RAF personnel).  The entire crew of U-29 was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class.

[U-29 was scuttled on 4 May 1945 in Kupfermuhlen Bay, east of Flensberg in Germany].

Able Seaman John Sturgeon (No. D/JX 148794) was 28 when he died and is commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial in Devon; on Comber and District War Memorial and in First Comber Presbyterian Church (as Gunner John Sturgeon).