How Did Freddie Thorne Die?

Freddie Thorne is a character from ‘Peaky Blinders’, a British period crime series set in Birmingham, England. Freddie sadly died in 1921 of “pestilence” (the Spanish Flu) after the first season of the show. Freddie was just 37 when he died, and is survived by his wife Ada Shelby and son Karl Thorne.

Who Was Freddie Thorne?

Freddie was born in 1884 and lived at 26 South Street, in Birmingham. As a child he became friends with Tommy Shelby (the main protagonist of Peaky Blinders), and they served together in World War I.

As the two grew up, Freddie became a communist (sympathising with the Bolsheviks) and his friendship with Tommy suffered as a result. Freddie began secretly dating Tommy’s sister Ada.

Freddie and Ada secretly got married and the two had a son together, naming him ‘Karl Thorne’ after Karl Marx, a communist philosopher and leader.  

During this time, Freddie had been forced into hiding by a police invasion on the Peaky Blinders. He left hiding to visit his newborn son, which resulted in his capture by the police. 

Freddie escaped captivity after fellow Peaky Blinders member Danny Whizz-Bang bribed one of his prison van guards, and he was reunited with the gang.

Tragically, Freddie died soon after this from the Spanish Flu.

Wait, Who Are The ‘Peaky Blinders’?

The ‘Peaky Blinders’ are a criminal gang of Small Heath, Birmingham, England, spanning from the late 1800s to early 1900s. They are the central focus of the ‘Peaky Blinders’ show.

The gang is inspired by a real-life gang of the same name and of the same period, which grew out of the poor economic conditions of Birmingham at the time. The gang was mostly young men, and the gang of the television show reflects this too.

The gang’s name ‘Peaky Blinders’ comes from their habit of stitching razor blades into their cap peaks, as weapons. They are mostly involved in betting and the black market, and are run by the Shelby family.

Who Are The Members Of The Peaky Blinders?

The Peaky Blinders gang’s list of members is vast, and includes many of the Shelby family themselves. Though ‘Peaky Blinders’ was indeed a real-life gang, the Shelby family are fictional and not thought to be based on any real family of that time. 

The fictional Peaky Blinders current gang members are: Thomas Shelby (gang leader), Aunt Polly (gang matriarch), Arthur Shelby, John Shelby, Michael Gray, Finn Shelby, Uncle Charlie, Curly, Johnny Dogs, Jeremiah Jesus, Isaiah Jesus, Bonnie Gold, Danny Whizz-Bang, Billy Kitchen, Scudboat, Digbeth Kid and Stephan Radischevski.

What Did Freddie Look Like?

Freddie had dark eyes and a neat, short beard. His hair was also dark, and he most often wore it slicked down with a central parting.

Freddie usually wore a dark suit (like many of the Peaky Blinders members), and his signature trilby cap.

When fighting in World War I (in which he served as a sergeant), he wore the standard uniform.

Let’s Take A Closer Look – How Did Freddie Die?

At the very start of Season 2 of ‘Peaky Blinders’, the Peaky Blinders gang are seen at Freddie’s funeral. It is said that Freddie died of “pestilence” – “pestilence” most likely being the Spanish Flu.

The Spanish Influenza pandemic lasted from 1918 to the very early 1920s, and took many lives across the globe.

The total number of people who died from the virus is estimated to be around 500 million (or around one third of the planet’s population at the time).

Did Freddie Have A Family?

Though the ‘Peaky Blinders’ show focuses primarily on the Shelby family, Freddie himself had his own family and they played a key role in his life.

His mother was Irene Thorne, and his father is unknown – or at least, unconfirmed. He married Ada Shelby, his childhood crush and sister of Tommy Shelby, and together the two have a son, Karl Thorne.

While they served in World War I together, Freddie saved Tommy’s life, and the two were close friends. This friendship waned however when Freddie became a communist, however in the end it didn’t end up preventing Freddie from marrying Ada.

What Episodes Did Freddie Appear In?

Freddie appeared in each episode of Season 1 of the Peaky Blinders. At the start of the first episode of Season 2, his funeral is featured and Freddie appears in no further episodes.

There are some suspicions amongst fans that perhaps Freddie isn’t truly dead, however these rumours have neither been confirmed nor denied.

I suppose time will tell in the end!

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