Driver J. Starkie
T/16298 292 Company
Army Service Corps.
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J. Starkie was 34 years old and died on the 8th August 1915. He was the son of Samuel and Mary Starkie of Blackburn, Lancashire and the husband of Sophia Starkie, of 40, Sunny Bank, Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire.
Starkie died in a tragic boating accident whilst based near Reading. He and Private J. J. McKeever, an Irish man born at Waterside, were in a Canadian canoe on the Thames at Tilehurst when the canoe capsized and both soldiers were drowned. Neither man could swim. The Coroners verdict was that of “Accidental Drowning”.
During the war years there were many such accidents on the Thames, sometimes of army personelle and sometimes civilians and children. Many drownings were accidental, some were acts of suicide.
Mrs Starkie attended the funeral and also Thomas Logue, the brother in law of McKeeveer. A volley was fired and the “Last Post played”. The grave of Driver Starkie is marked by a CWGC war pattern headstone. Private McKeever is also buried in the cemetery in Division 14