- Branch of Service
- World War II
- Date of Enlistment
- Place of Enlistment
- Paddington NSW
- Date of Birth
- Place of Birth
- Canberra ACT
- Address (at enlistment)
- Brookvale NSW
- Next of Kin
- Son of William A. G. and Theodosia Isobel Starkey, of Brookvale NSW; husband of Gladys Lillian Starkey.
- Service Number
- Final Rank
- Final Unit
- 1 Independent Company AIF
Died 1 July 1942 aged 41 years at sea (South West Pacific area on AWM Roll of Honour database).
AWM Roll of Honour, Canberra ACT: Panel 71.
Rabaul Memorial: Panel 11.
Starkey grew up in the Canberra area and played football for West Queanbeyan and cricket for Westridge. He married Lillian Joyce in Sydney in 1924 and worked as a brickies labourer on the construction of Parliament House and later in quarries at Brookvale in Sydney. Starkey was a member of the Citizen Military Force.
The 1 Independent Company was a commando unit sent to Kavieng in New Ireland in July 1941 to resist a possible Japanese invasion and, if necessary, fight a guerrilla war. The Japanese landed at Kavieng on 22 January 1942 and, vastly outnumbering the commandos, soon captured the town. A few of the men of 1 Independent Company were captured but most escaped by boat. However, their boat was spotted a few days later by Japanese aircraft and, on 2 February 1942, they were taken prisoner in Rabaul.
On 22nd June 1942, the Japanese ordered 852 Australian prisoners of war (including 133 men of 1 Independent Company) and 208 civilian internees at Rabaul to board the Montevideo Maru for transport to Hainan Island in the South China Sea. The ship was not marked as carrying prisoners. It was sighted by an American submarine, the USS Sturgeon, on 1 July 1942 off the coast of Luzon in the Philippines. Unaware that it was carrying POWs, the Sturgeon torpedoed the Montevideo Maru. In the single biggest maritime disaster in Australian history, all the prisoners on board, including Alan Starkey, were killed. He has no known grave. Starkey is commemorated on the Rabaul Memorial.
The Rabaul Memorial commemorates over 1,200 members of the Australian Army (including personnel of the New Guinea and Papuan local forces and constabulary) and the Royal Australian Air Force, who lost their lives in New Britain and New Ireland in January and February 1942, and in New Britain from November 1944 to August 1945, and who have no known grave.
Australia. Department of Veterans' Affairs. World War 2 nominal roll. http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/
Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Debt of Honour Register. <http://www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/search/>
AWM Roll of Honour and Roll of Honour Circulars <http://www.awm.gov.au/database/roh.asp>
The Montevideo Maru Foundation - http://www.montevideomaru.org
National Archives - http://www.montevideomaru.naa.gov.au/
The Canberra Times - 21 June 1927, 11 October 1927, 15 August 1942