Comrade Edric Garfield Sturrup was a family man. But he dedicated those years between 1941 and 1945 to military service for his beloved Bahamas during World War II. On August 27, family members, friends and a respected cadre of government officials attended his funeral at St. Barnabas Parish. It was plain to see that his 94 years alive had been productive and meaningful to many.
Captain Tellis Bethel, Commander Defence Force (Acting) and the Officers and Marines of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force paid tribute to this fallen soldier during the home going service, acknowledging his brave role in the years before the commonwealth of The Bahamas had institutionalized its own military arm.
Private Edric Sturrup served as a military Officer in The Bahamas Battalion Squadron during those four years. The Squadron is recognized as the first Bahamas Defence Force during the colonial era. After training for front line battle in Jamaica, he returned to New Providence and joined his squad in guarding and protecting the ports of entry and the utility companies against any invasion on the island during the war.
After the end of World War II, Comrade Sturrup became employed on “the project” in the United States, before returning to The Bahamas to work in the hospitality industry. As a result of serving in World War II, he would become a member of British Legion-Bahamas Branch (BLBB), formerly known as The Bahamas Ex-Servicemen Association. This non-profit military organization was formed by Black Bahamian World War II Ex-Servicemen after World War II in 1945 in order to “preserve” their experiences and legacies for future Bahamian generations.
Currently, there are 22 registered members of the British Legion – Bahamas Branch who are still alive in the country. Comrade Percy Strachan at age 94 remains the oldest living member today. Over the past 5 years, a total of 12 ex-service men has died.
Cannon Basil Tynes, in his eulogy, applauded Sturrup for his dedication not only during the war, but also as a member of his congregation. Cannon Tynes reminded those in attendance of the timely adage that “Old Soldiers never die…They only fade away.”
We in the Force duly recognize his contributions and express condolences to his bereaved family on his passing.
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