Freddie served as a Lance Corporal in the 7th Battalion of the Black Watch. He was blinded by a mortar bomb at Normandy.
Freddie came to Blind Veterans UK (then known as St Dunstan’s) later in 1944, to our wartime training and rehabilitation centre at Church Stretton, Shropshire. Here he learnt Braille, typewriting, woodwork, wool rug-making, meccano and to play (his own!) piano accordion. He later trained with us as a physiotherapist and worked in this capacity for 35 years at a hospital in Stoke.
Already married when he came to us, to Dorothy, Freddie had a busy family life. He and Dorothy had four children.
He later spoke of his D-Day experiences: "I arrived on D-Day+4 and was carrying 96lb of equipment. I was with the Black Watch, attached to the Canadians. We were always warned not to say too much to the locals. Normandy had been the German holiday area and they hadn’t had it so bad, so you couldn’t be sure that something wouldn’t reach the wrong ears.
"Yes, I was aware that it was the great push forward, though it stopped for a while, the day I got wounded. We spent a couple of weeks at a town called Longville. The last thing I saw were three ambulances. I assume I was hit by a 5cm mortar."
"I remember putting my hand up to my face and feeling my right eye down on my cheek. Right away I thought “they’ve taken my sight."Freddie
Freddie died in 2018 aged 92.