Born: 1923, Preston, Lancashire.
Died: 10th May 1944; age: 20.
Residence: 127, Mildway Road, Ipswich.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 6921505.
Regiment: King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 1st Battalion.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Richard & Edith E.G. Butler, of Ipswich.
Father: Richard Butler, born April 1898, Garstang, Lancashire. A Maintenance Fitter.
Mother: Edith Ethel Gertrude Butler (nee Bloom), born November 1896, Ipswich.
The Anzio landings commenced on 22nd January 1944 on the west coast 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.
Ipswich have long historical links with the Italian coastal town of Nettuno, Ipswich’s Borough Council have a “Cooperation”( Twinning) link.