Born on 24th April 1852 in Evelyn Street, Deptford, Thankfull Sturdee would remain interested in the town's history all his life. He is the author of Reminiscences of Old Deptford, published in 1895, which includes his own photographs as well as reproductions of older drawings and engravings. It's even more fascinating for the modern reader, as many of his contemporary images show scenes and buildings now disappeared.

Sturdee left his negatives and sets of prints to Deptford Library (they are now at Lewisham Local History and Archives Centre). However, outside Deptford he is better known as a photographer. He gave his profession as such in the 1881 census, when he was 29, and had studios in Deptford until 1910. In 1911, he became press photographer for the Daily Mirror. He retired in 1922 and died on 3rd April 1934.

He is commemorated with a Lewisham Maroon Plaque at 16 Bolden Street, London SE8

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