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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 324

A scarce Maharajpoor and Sutlej campaign pair to Sergeant Charles Sturgeon, 16th Lancers, who was wounded in one of the regiment's celebrated charges at Aliwal

Maharajpoor Star 1843 (Corpl. Charles Sturgeon, H.M. 16th Lancers), fitted with riveted back strap and contemporary silver bar suspension; Sutlej 1845-46, for Aliwal (Serjt. Chas. Sturgeon, 16th Lancers), very fine and better (2)

Charles Sturgeon was born in the Parish of St John's, Westminster, and enlisted on 12 August 1833. He appears to have been present at the capture of the fortress of Ghuznee in July 1839, being noted as entitled to Prize Money for that campaign on the pay lists. Certainly he was present at the battle of Maharajpoor in December 1843 (Star).

Next actively employed in the 2nd Sikh War, he was wounded at the battle of Aliwal in one of the 16th Lancers' celebrated charges. The regiment sustained casualties of 59 killed and 83 wounded, more than a quarter of the total losses suffered that day. Sturgeon was lucky to be rescued by a fellow cavalryman, as related in The Memoirs of Sergeant Pearman of the 3rd Light Dragoons:

'I ran and picked up a man named Wise, shot in the leg, and put him on our gun carriage. I then ran and picked up Sergeant Stearger (sic), shot in the neck, and put him on the gun carriage with Wise. These two men belonged to the 16th Lancers.'

When the survivors of the 16th Lancers were paraded after the battle, it was observed that the red and white pennants of their lances were so coated with dry blood that they appeared to be starched.

Sergeant Sturgeon died in India on 30 December 1846, most likely from the wounds he received at Aliwal; sold with copied research.

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