From flying the flag for his ancestors' country to championing the people and communities in his local village, Raz Woollacott cemented himself as a beloved character by the many who knew him. 

The 74-year-old from Shotesham, near Norwich, most recently made the headlines after showing his defiance against the war in Ukraine. 

Part-Ukrainian, as his grandparents left the country to settle in London in 1905, the former Norfolk County Council countryside officer raised the country’s flag at his property. 

The Norfolk villager was among the first in the region to have done so in a show of solidarity following the country's invasion by Russia. 

In fact, he ordered the Ukrainian flag a day before Russia's invasion. 

He also signed up to the Homes for Ukraine scheme to host Ukrainian refugees in his own home with his wife, Laura, in their three-bedroom property. 

But the true extent of his generosity reached a far wider audience. 

Eastern Daily Press: Raz Woollacott (far right) with members of the Norwich and Norfolk landmines Action group in 1998

Raz Josiah Woollacott was born in Britain in 1948.  

His Ukrainian heritage led him to become a local spokesperson for the Ukrainian people, and he successfully attracted coverage in both local and national newspapers.  

He campaigned tirelessly in the past on issues regarding the impact of landmines, and supported Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Sightsavers.  

With Laura, he also raised money for victims of the war against Ukraine and hosted children affected by Chernobyl from Belarus.   

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Paying tribute to her husband of 28 years, she said: “In his lifetime, he created many opportunities to enlighten people about issues he felt strongly about.  

“He touched the lives of so many people, his generosity, abundance of enthusiasm and kindness was well recognised. He left a lasting impression on the lives of others far and wide.  

“A man of Jewish heritage, who had so much to share, achieved so much in his noble life and was such a great example of a simple everyday man who was humble and generous, completely unmaterialistic and died with no regrets. 

“Raz was truly a remarkable man.”  

Eastern Daily Press: Raz Woollacott and wife, Laura, hosting children during a visit to the UK for the The Chet and

A tireless campaigner, Mr Woollacott was also co-owner of The New European. 

An online tribute from the publication read: “Raz will be remembered as a giant of a man – he was 6ft 6 – who was a tireless campaigner.” 

Locally, in his home village, he ran a monthly film night and featured foreign films with themes which raised awareness of world issues. 

He also raised the profile of the village bowling club, successfully swelling numbers and raising funds to ensure the club could keep going and undertake much-needed maintenance. 

He cared for orphaned jackdaws, opened a health food shop in Norwich to bring affordable options to a deprived area, and (as a forerunner of recycling) he ran bicycle repair shop to promote sustainability. 

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He loved to bake, and village events not only benefited from his famous Victoria sponge but also his legendary appetite for cake. 

He was a great proponent of jam-making and enjoyed picking blackberries and wild plums to make an annual supply of jams. He kept a good stockpile so friends and family could leave with a jar after visiting. 

Not a lover of flying, the couple would travel the UK in their vintage caravan. Many a trip was planned around a cultural adventure, taking in art galleries, museums, and National Trust properties, along with long walks and making time to meet new people.  

He enjoyed discussing politics and world affairs and found enormous pleasure in passing on his great knowledge of wildflowers, trees and birds.  

A proud and committed father, Mr Woollacott died on March 21 after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2022. He is survived by his wife and their two children Frankie and Ruby. 

Eastern Daily Press: Raz Woollacott on his bicycle