This memory was posted by Helen Sherwood Clinkard on 2 March 2022, six days after Russia invaded Ukraine.
As our hearts go out to the Ukraine and its wonderful people, I will tell you about “Freddie “ Fedir Leontowich Dowschenko, he was a POW that was taken to our grandfather Tom Ridout's home, Mill Farm, to work.
He later came and lived in our front room ! At Sheephayes.
He was the most wonderful man, who helped Dad, and looked after me while Mum and Dad were working and Stella was a baby.
I loved Freddie very much, I reminded him of his daughter whom he left behind in the Ukraine, he was so much fun and made me laugh - such happy times.
He chain-smoked and I would copy him with the sweet cigarettes he would buy me from the shop, (all rather naughty now, but it was the 1950s) and I have never smoked so it’s ok.
Freddie never went back to the Ukraine and passed away when I was 4, the memory I have of "the man with the funny accent, and smelt of smoke“ will always be with me.
He was 60 years old and is buried in Okeford Church Yard.
His family had a service in the Ukraine for him, I have his service sheet.
God bless Freddie and the Ukraine.