Born: 29th May 1923, Ipswich.

Died: 23rd January 1944; age: 20; MPK.

Residence: 455, Nacton Road, Ipswich.

Rank: Stoker Class 1; Service Number: P/KX 150097.

Regiment: Royal Navy, H.M.S. ‘Janus’

Memorial Reference:

Panel 85, Column 3.

Portsmouth Naval Memorial,


Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Edward Harry Buckman & Caroline Ethel Buckman, of Ipswich.

Father: Edward Harry Buckman, born January 1893, Ipswich. A Steel Grinder.

Mother: Caroline Ethel Buckman (nee McEntee), born November 1891, Dublin, Ireland.

Images courtesy of Ricky Hackett 

Ipswich have long historical links with the Italian coastal town of Nettuno, Ipswich’s Borough Council have a “Cooperation”( Twinning) link.

The Anzio landings commenced on 22nd January 1944 on the west cost of Italy Known as “Operation Shingle” Taking the two coastal town Anzio and Nettuno, Just 40+ miles west of Rome the capital city. The Italian campaign had come to a halt, hampered by mountain terrain and layers of fortified German and Axis positions known as the Gustav Line. It had been decided to leapfrog around the coast setting up new beachheads, out flanking the German positions.

The Amphibious assault was a great success on the first few days, by midnight, 36,000 soldiers and 3,200 vehicles had landed on the beaches consisting of US and allied forces, but failed to push deep inland choosing to hold back, for more troops to be landed before moving. By January 24th the Germans had moved over 40,000 troops into the area and surrounded the beachhead. Shelling the Allied forces trapped in a small area, low laying flooded terrain held up the breakout. Fierce fighting continued until June when the Allied forces finally broke out from the beachhead taking Rome on the 4th of June.

23rd January 1944

H.M.S. ‘Janus’ named after the Greek God, was built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd., Wallsend-on-Tyne, Tyne & Wear, as part of the 1936 Build Programme. Ordered 25th March 1937, Laid down 29th September 1937, launched 10th November 1938 and commissioned 5th August 1939. On the 20th January 1944. H.M.S. ‘Janus’ had been involved in the landings at Anzio (Lieutenant Commander William Brabazon Robert Morrison R.N.). On the 23rd January she was hit 35 miles south of Rome, by a guided bomb and sank in twenty minutes. 158 lost and 80 survived.

There are two versions as to what was responsible for the loss:

The first was a hit by a glider bomb, Henschel Hs 293 from a Dornier Do 217.

The second was a hit from a Heinkel He 111 dropped a Fritz X.

Link to  HMS Janus Face Book page.


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