30th August 2016

We’re gonna make you a Starr!

I share a birthday with Harold Starr! On Thursday the 8th of September I’ll be 60 years old. And it’s thanks to Harold and his ilk that I’m here to celebrate that milestone. So when I raise a glass to toast my birthday I’ll raise one to toast Harold and his brother too. Starrs in every sense of the word!

Starr Brothers Blue Plaques

‘Two of Swindon’s bravest sons were honoured on Thursday 8th Sept 2016 when the Swindon Heritage Team www.swindonheritage.com unveiled not one but two commemorative Starr Brothers Blue Plaques in the heart of the town. 

Brothers Harold Starr and Norman ‘John’ Starr entered this world in the Central Hotel, Regent Street, Swindon. The hotel was replaced with a cinema in the 1930s and today the Art Deco building houses the popular Weatherspoon’s pub, The Savoy.

As soon as www.jdwetherspoon.com were approached about the idea of having blue plaques on The Savoy they immediately said yes and have been assisting with logistics ever since.

Starr Brothers Blue Plaques
The Starr Brothers

Squadron Leader Harold Starr (1914 – 1940)

Squadron Leader Harold Starr was born and raised in Swindon. He bailed out of his burning Hurricane during the Battle of Britain in 1940. But a Messerschmitt gunned him down as he floated down to earth in his parachute. His wife was carrying their unborn child.

Harold Starr lies in Radnor St Cemetery in Swindon in a Commonwealth War Grave. He was 25 years old.

Here’s a young and handsome Harold on his wedding day:

old photograph of Harold Starr
Harold Starr on his wedding day

Wing Commander Norman John Starr DFC and BAR (1917 – 1945)

Like Harold, Norman was born and raised in Swindon. The 27 year old Norman’s fate was being shot down and killed whilst piloting an Avro Anson over Dunkirk in 1945. He was flying back to England to marry his sweetheart the following day.

Norman lies along with his three crew members in Dunkirk Town Cemetery in a Commonwealth War Grave.

Further Information about Harold Starr

Read more about Harold Starr here: https://swindonian.me/2015/07/11/harold-starr-one-of-the-few/ and here: https://swindonian.me/2015/09/16/swindon-remembers-the-few/

Read the Swindon Link magazine article about the Spitfire sculpture proposed for the Orbital Centre in Swindon: http://swindonlink.com/2016/08/spitfire-sculpture-at-orbital-shopping-park-to-celebrate-swindon-aviation-heritage/

And read the post about it here on Born again Swindonian. And note that the Starr brothers get a feature in Secret Swindon.