Partner E.M. Forster, buried together

Queer Places:
Paddenswick Rd, Hammersmith, London W6 0UA, UK
11 Salisbury Ave, Coventry CV3 5DA, Regno Unito
Canley Garden Cemetery & Crematorium, Cannon Hill Rd, Coventry CV4 7DF, Regno Unito

Robert “Bob” Buckingham (1892-1975) was a policeman, colleague of Harry Daley. E.M. Forster was open to his close friends, but not to the public and a lifelong bachelor.[13] He developed a long-term relationship with Bob Buckingham.[14] In the summer of 1926 J.R. Ackerley introduced Harry to E. M. Forster, who became Harry’s lover, but it was a troubled relationship. Ackerley and Forster introduced the young policeman policeman to members of the literary world and in 1931, wearing his uniform, Harry’s portrait was painted by the homosexual artist Duncan Grant. However, Harry was too indiscreet for the closeted Forster and the Bloomsbury Group or Bloomsbury Set (writers, intellectuals, artists), who also befriended him. Forster was so alarmed by Harry’s lack of discretion and his friendships with rough lads from the criminal underworld, that the couple eventually broke up in 1932. Forster then had a more satisfying and long-term relationship with another – discreet – police officer called Bob Buckingham. For several years Harry and Bob lived in the same section house in Paddenswick Road, Hammersmith, overlooking Ravenscourt Park. Though at first jealous of the relationship, Harry acknowledged that, temperamentally, Bob and Forster, known as ‘Morgan’, were good together: ‘Bob was the man for Morgan, much more suitable than me, and I am glad that’s how it ended.’

Bob Buckingham, born in King’s Cross, London, came from a poor, working-class background but, according to P. N. Furbank, ‘he had survived with great resilience, becoming a warm-hearted, broad-minded, responsible man, with a patronizing manner […] He loved to be in the know (a trait of the police generally).’ Bob served with the Metropolitan Police from 1926 to 1951, and Furbank offers an insight into Bob’s relationship with Harry: ‘Bob, for his part, treated Harry as a sort of licensed lunatic. He refused to countenance Harry’s gaolbird friends, but not censoriously, merely treating Harry as a hopeless case. He would put his arm around him affectionately, sighing “Oh Harry, you are a fool.”’

Forster died of a stroke[20] on 7 June 1970 at the age of 91, at Bob Buckingham' home in Coventry.[16] His ashes, mingled with those of Buckingham, were later scattered in the rose garden of Coventry's crematorium, near Warwick University.[21][22]

Forster lived in this house, home of his friends Robert and May Buckingham, and died here on 7 June 1970. The sign on the wall above the garage door marks the 100th anniversary of his birth

Canley Garden crematorium

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