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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Surname

Charles Frederick STARLING

Born 1881 in Greenough, Western Australia [15]
Son of Robert STARLING and Beulah Emily CRIPPIN [15]
His grandfather Joseph CRIPPIN had arrived in Western Australia as a convict under the alias of James OSBORNE in 1861 [20] [21] [107]
His father died at the age of 58 years in 1882, and in 1885 his mother married "Frank" Francis Henry Reeves THOMAS [15]
Railway Fettler in Yalgoo 1903-1906 [50]
Married Mary Jane FARRELL in 1911 [66]
He was employed as a Fettler and Length Runner by the Midland Railway Company of Western Australia [19] [50]
Railway Fettler in Coomberdale in 1914 [19]
Railway Fettler in Coorow in 1916 and 1917 [6] [31: 20-Dec-1916] [50]
Railway Fettler / Ganger in Carnamah in 1919 and 1920 [6] [19]
Railway Fettler in Arrino in 1921 [50]
His half-brother Frank THOMAS rose to notoriety as a local bushranger in Coorow, Carnamah and surrounding districts [P1]
Railway Length Runner in Dongara 1921-1928, in Mingenew in 1929 and 1930, and in Walkaway in 1931 and 1932 [19] [50]
Member of the Mingenew Rifle Club in 1930 [4: 19-Jul-1930]
Pallbearer at the funeral of Mrs Alice Lucy EDWARDS of Mingenew at the Mingenew Cemetery on 16 August 1930 [86: 23-Aug-1930]
Father of Eliza, Charles Edward, William Albert, Walter Robert and Gordon Arthur [P451]
Died 5 January 1932 in Walkaway; buried at the Utakarra Cemetery in Geraldton, Western Australia [26] [86: 5-Jan-1932]


From The Geraldton Guardian and Express newspaper, Tuesday 5 January 1932:
Tragic Affair at Walkaway
"Tragic circumstances surround the death of Frederick Charles Starling, a length runner employed by the Midland Railway Company, who was found dead at his home in Walkaway this morning. According to brief particulars available it is understood that the body of the deceased was discovered by his wife about eight o'clock, there being a wound, apparently caused by a .22 rifle, which was lying nearby. At the time deceased was fully dressed, with the exception of his boots. Starling, who was 45 years of age, is stated to have been indifferent health for some time and had recently contracted a severe attack of influenza, which apparently accentuated his worries. Deceased was taking out his long service leave, and was not due to resume duty until next month. In addition to his wife, he leaves three young children to mourn their loss."


From The Geraldton Guardian and Express newspaper, Thursday 7 January 1932:
Walkaway Tragedy - Man Shoots Himself - Verdict of Suicide
    "Further particulars concerning the death of Frederick Charles Starling, married, aged 51 years, which took place at Walkaway on Tuesday under tragic circumstances, were revealed in the Walkaway Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon, when an inquest was held
before Mr. Hugh E Hamersley, Acting Coroner. Constable A. P. Dove conducted the inquiry on behalf of the police.
     Eliza Starling, aged 19 years, a daughter of the deceased, stated that on the morning of January 5th her father remained in bed as a result of an attack of influenza. He had been laid up since Christmas day. Shortly after seven o 'clock on Tuesday morning her mother and brother left home to go to the Walkaway siding, and some time after they had left and while she was performing her household
duties, she heard a gun shot. She immediately went into the kitchen and there met her young brother (Walter), aged five years, coming from the rear of the house. He told her that he had seen their father with a gun in his hand and blood coming from his face. She could hear groans coming from a back room, and immediately ran to the siding and told her mother and brother. 
     Charles Starling, aged 17 years, a son of the deceased, stated upon receiving intimation from his sister at the Walkaway siding that his father had shot himself he returned to the house, which was about a mile from the town. He found his father in a back room of the house lying face downwards in a pool of blood. He was partly dressed, wearing trousers and a shirt only. He had a .22 calibre rifle held between his legs and was apparently dead. Witness immediately returned to Walkaway and telephoned for the Geraldton police. His father was a length runner employed by the Midland Railway Company. He was at the time of his death on long service leave and was not due to start work again until February 6th. Apart from the attack of influenza, he did not know of any reason why his father should
take his life.
     Further evidence was given by Constable Dove, who stated that when he arrived deceased was lying on the floor. The body was clothed in grey trousers and flannel shirt. There was a single barrel rifle between his legs, and the toes of the feet were on the trigger guard. The front portion of deceased's head had been blown away, the features being almost unrecognisable. There was an empty cartridge in the rifle, but although the rifle was an automatic, there were no live cartridges in the magazine.
     The body was identified by Robert Starling, of 133 Gregory Street, Gerald ton, as that of his brother, who was 51 years of age. Deceased, he stated, had been in the employ of the Midland Railway Company as a length runner for the past sixteen years, and resided at Walkaway with his wife and five children, whose ages ranged from two years to nineteen years. The Acting-Coroner returned a verdict that the deceased, Frederick Charles Starling, came by his death on January 5th, at Walkaway, from a gun shot wound, self-inflicted, whilst temporarily of unsound mind.
     The funeral took place on Wednesday afternoon at Walkaway. Deceased, until recently, was stationed at Mingenew, in which district the family was well known and highly respected."


Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Charles Frederick Starling' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 27 May 2019 from www.carnamah.com.au  [ sources ]




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