Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Unveiling of Swindon Blue Plaques

Blue Plaques to honour Swindon’s brave WWII Fighter Pilots to be unveiled - 3pm on Thursday 8th September 2016.

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

Brothers Harold Starr and Norman ‘John’ Starr were born in the Central Hotel, Regent Street, Swindon. The hotel was replaced with a cinema in the 1930’s 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.

Squadron Leader Harold Starr (1914 – 1940) was born and raised in Swindon. He bailed out of his burning Hurricane during the Battle of Britain in 1940 but was gunned to death by a Messerschmitt as he floated down to earth in his parachute. His wife was carrying their unborn child. He is buried in Radnor St Cemetery in Swindon in a Commonwealth War Grave. He was 25 years old.

Wing Commander Norman John Starr DFC and BAR (1917 – 1945) was born and raised in Swindon. He was shot down and killed whilst piloting an Avro Anson over Dunkirk in 1945. He was flying back to England to get married to his sweetheart the following day. He never made it back. He is buried along with his three crew members in Dunkirk Town Cemetery in a Commonwealth War Grave. He was 27 years old.

As featured in the Swindon Heritage Magazine, these will be the second and third of our ongoing Blue Plaque scheme. Our first plaque unveiled was earlier this year in North Street, Old Town and is dedicated to Swindon born suffragette, Edith New.

Funding for our heroic pilots’ plaques was made possible by donations from the public and Starr family members via:

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/blue-plaques-for-swindon-wwii-pilots

The www.swindonheritage.com Magazine is a quarterly publication. £4.99 per edition. 
Plaques will be installed by Chris Garrett. He also fitted the Edith New plaque.
Unveiling the plaques will be by the pilots’ Nephew, 93 year old retired Squadron Leader Peter Starr Mills and Great Niece Sue Giles.
Location: Savoy Pub, 38-40 Regent Street, Swindon, SN1 1JL
Contact: Noel Beauchamp nbeauchamp@amcs.co.uk 07980720593



Squadron Leader Harold Starr


Wing Commander Norman John Starr


Harold Starr's grave in Radnor Street Cemetery




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