Joseph Martin Sturt – Lance Corporal (G/3990), 1st Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment)

Text written by Pia Chamberlain.

The following was previously printed in a pamphlet available at St Andrew’s Church, Kingswood, Battle of the Somme, 1st July – 18th November 1916, The Fallen of Kingswood and Tadworth.

Joseph Martin Sturt was born in 1891 at Three Bridges, Sussex. He was the son of James and Emily Sturt and he had a younger brother. The family lived at 25 Eyhurst Cottages in Chipstead. According to the 1911 Census, his father was a ‘Working Foreman’ and Joseph is described as a ‘Farm Carter’. He was married in that same year.

The following extract from the Parish Magazine for March 1918 throws some light on the way Joseph Sturt was killed:

Mrs Sturt has recently received a communication from the War Office that her husband, Lance Corpl. J.M. Sturt (1st Queen’s), who has been missing since November 6th, 1916, is now reported to have been killed on that day. We understand that he was leader of a bombing party which was cut off by the Germans. Not one of the party returned to our lines, and it was three months before any of them were heard of. J.M. Sturt and many others are supposed to have been killed by machine-gun fire. He fell, probably on his 25th birthday.

The official date of his death is given as 3rd November 1916 and his name appears on the Thiepval Memorial.

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