Pte Starr Michael Francis

  • Year of birth: 1889
  • Place of birth: Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
  • Date of death: 04/10/1917
  • Place of death: Romulus Wood, Belgium
  • Cause of death: Killed in action (K.I.A.)
  • Age: 28
  • Profession: Clerk
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
  • Country: Australia
  • Rank: Private
  • Service number: 3464
  • Enlistment date: 03/08/1915
  • Enlistment place: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Last known unit: Australian Infantry, 6th Bn.
  • Force: Australian Imperial Force


Distinctions and medals 3

1914-15 Star Medal
British War Medal Medal
Victory Medal Medal

Additional information

Private Michael Francis Starr served with the 6th Battalion AIF (part of the 1st Division, 2nd Brigade). The former clerck enlisted on the 3rd August 1915 in Melbourne, VIC, age 26. In October 1915 he sailed from Australia to Egypt and served at the Western Front together with 3 of his brothers: Patrick James, Philip Henry and John Robert. They were the sons of Mary Starr and the late Michael Starr from Healsville, Victoria.

On 27th December 1916 he was admitted to the hospital in France, and later England, suffering from trench feet. He returned to duty 10th June 1917.

During the Battle of Broodseinde, part of the Battle of Passchendaele, on October 4th, 1917, the 2nd Brigade advanced through the marsh and tree stumps of Romulus and Remus Woods, north of Molenaarelsthoek. The 8th Battalion came under fire from four 77 mm guns in a position on the Becelaere-Broodseinde road. An officer and a few men attacked and captured the guns. The 6th and 7th Battalions took over the attack. The 6th lost direction and crowded the 7th. However, they maintained touch with both flanks. Both Battalions came under heavy fire from Retaliation Farm and also a large crater used as a German headquarters and a strongpoint. This was taken by the 6th Battalion.
They carried on the advance and came under fire from the distant Keibergposition. The objective was consolidated and posts were established 75 yards in front of the Blue Line. No counter-attacks were launched, but the Germans were seen massing at 12 noon at Dame House and Celtic Wood, at 1 p.m and 02.30 p.m. at Flint Farm and twice near Keiberg. Artillery fire dispersed the Germans.

Private Michael Francis Starr, age 28, was reported wounded and missing during the Australian attacks in what was called the Battle of Broodseinde. A few months later, when a witness reported that Michael was hit by a shell on the temple, killing him instantaneously, he was confirmed killed in action on 4th October 1917.
Having no grave his name is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres Belgium, Bay 7, stone M.
His younger brother Patrick James Starr was killed in action the same day Michael went missing. He too is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial. The two other brothers Philip Henry and John Robert returned safely to Australia.

Connection to other soldiers 2

Starr Patrick James Brother
Starr Patrick James Brother