STARLING, Charles Edward

No.49223, Lance Corporal, Charles Edward STARLING
Aged 28

80th Company, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
formerly 2012, Rifle Brigade
Died at sea of Illness on Thursday, 9th November 1916

Charles Edward Starling was born in Cowlinge (Risbridge Q3-1888 4A:617), son of Henry and Thurza STARLING (née CRICK).

1891 census...Aged 2, he was at Hobbles Green, Cowlinge with his father Henry STARLING [42] shepherd; his mother Thurza [43] born Brockley; brother Oscar [19], William [17], Robert [15], Alfred [13] (all farm labourers), Ernest [10] and Walter [4]; sister Jessie [8 months]. All except his mother were born in Cowlinge.

1901 census...Aged 12, he was at Hobbles Green, Cowlinge with his parents; brothers Alfred, Ernest and Walter (all farm labourers); sister Jessie.

1911 census... Aged 22, he was in the Army. His parents were still at Hobble Green with his brothers Alfred (farm labourer) and Walter (stationary engine driver and electric lighting power)

In 1917 his belongings were to be sent to his sister Miss J.K.Starling at 14 Woodstock Avenue, Golders Green, London
In 1919 his living relatives were his parents at Hobbles Green, with his brothers Alfred [41], Ernest [33] and sister Jessie [28]. Brother William [45] at The Green, Cowlinge, Walter[31] serving in France and Robert [43] North Hill, Chevington.

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds on 14th March 1907 for 7 years in the colours, 5 in the reserves, he gave his age as 18 years 9 months, born in Cowlinge, a labourer. 5 feet 6.25 inches (168.2 cm)tall, weighing 125 lbs (56.9kg), chest 34" to 36.5" (86.4 to 92.7 cm), grey eyed with light brown hair, a Congregationalist.
He served in the Rifle Brigade at home then went on the SS Ruva to Malta, arriving 27th February 1908. Via HMT Braemar Castle he went then to Alexandria, arriving 27th January 1909. Then from 5th February 1913 to 19th November 1914 in India with the 4th Battalion. At the depot in England from 19th Nov to 20th December 1914 before going to BEF and joining the 4th Battalion on 21st. On 23rd March 1915 he was in hospital for a week. On the 17th November 1915 he went to the Mediterranean theatre, Salonika, where, on 16th May 1916 he transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. His destination is not known (probably Egypt) but he died at sea from pneumonia on 9th November 1916 aboard Hospital Ship "Wandilla".

The Bury Free Press of 2nd December 1916 reported

We regret to state that several casualties to Cowlinge lads have recently been recorded.
Prvt Dan Bitten, son of Mr.C.Bitten, Lambfair Green, Cambridge, is among the killed. This is the second of this family to fall for King and Country, another brother being accidentally drowned in Mesopotamia a few months ago
Rifn.Chas. Starling, Rifle Brigade, contracting pneumonia at Salonica, was being conveyed in hospital ship to Malta, but died before reaching his destination. He has two other brothers at the front. The greatest sympathy is felt for both families, who are old time parishioners of Cowlinge
News is also to hand that Prvt A.Wiltshire, another Cowlinge lad, and son in law of Mrs Foreman, Mill Road, is also killed in action.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Charles Starling is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial, Greece

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details