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89-year-old Eddie Flann, a resident from Queen Charlotte Nursing Home in Dorset, has donated his life story for the #Donateyourwords campaig

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89-year-old Eddie Flann, a resident from Queen Charlotte Nursing Home in Dorset, has donated his life story for the #Donateyourwords campaign for Age UK and Cadbury UK

Eddie was born on the 12th January 1931 as an only child on the Island of Portland. As a young child, he has little memories of his time at primary school, only that the building was on the edge of a cliff.

He couldn’t wait to leave school and immediately joined the Army in 1945. He devoted himself to the service, but when he met a young lady named Rita two years later he left to marry her.

They loved each other dearly and had a son, Michael in 1951. Sadly, Rita passed away from cancer several years later, who lived with the illness secretly until it was too late. Michael’s and Eddie’s hearts were broken, though they eventually moved on living life together.

Michael had special needs and a heart condition, and Eddie dedicated his time to care for his son, cherishing every moment. Sadly at the age of 17, Michael passed away and Eddie’s world was once again ripped apart.

Eddie found comfort in ballroom dancing, who did not compete but danced because it made him feel good about himself.

Eddie later joined the Merchant Navy as a seaman, eventually leaving as a Bosun. Eddie experienced some sad times during his time serving, including witnessing an explosion from a submarine and watching as it sank. He remembers trying to pull it to the top but, despite his efforts, losing three sailors that day.

Eddie said: “I think about those times and believe I am very lucky to have got through this I one piece with a smile on my face.”

A special memory of his time in the navy includes a time where he and the crew were asked to take part in a wartime love story. This was a film titled “The Key” starring Sophia Loren, William Holden, and Trevor Howard. His role was a crew member on a tug and worked long hours whilst filming, though he said it was worth it when he managed to steal a kiss from Sophia Loren.

Eddie embarked on a total of 31 trips to Australia on cargo ships, and he said the country is close to his heart.

After his second marriage ended, Eddie moved to a small accommodation in Portland by himself and his new companion, Titch the dog.

He said: “Titch is my best friend. I do not feel lonely when I have him sitting on my lap.”

Eddie said that he was grateful for the friends he had made who regularly check on him and telephone to make sure he’s ok.

He said: “I really do feel blessed to have lived the life I have, to explore the world and to have made a beautiful family that continues to live on in my memories.”

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