Frederick "Fred" Buckle is the handyman of Nonnatus House, undertaking odd jobs around the residence and maintaining it as best he can. He is portrayed by Cliff Parisi.
Fred often enters into get-rich-quick schemes, including purchasing a pig in plans to slaughter it for bacon he will sell and illegally selling mistletoe. However, these schemes rarely work.
Fred's childhood was spent without shoes, as his father was more interested in buying beer in pubs than clothing his family. At a young age, Fred promised himself that if he ever had children, he'd provide properly for them, giving them the things he never had. Fred was married before the war and had two daughters, Marlene and Dolly. When war broke out, Fred joined the army, working as a latrine manager. During the blitz, Fred lost his wife and his family's home. After this, Fred's daughters were shuffled around from relative to relative for two years as he served in the army.
Dolly eventually married a merchant sailor and had a son, while Marlene relocated to Canada.
A few years later, a very pregnant Dolly came to visit Fred with her son. She was very eager to see him. However, when Chummy sees Dolly's very swollen ankles, she runs a urine test and discovers Dolly has pre-eclampsia. Dolly is then admitted into the maternity home, and her toddler is left to be cared for by Fred, much to her anxiety. In an effort to soothe her, Chummy has Fred bring the baby to Dolly's window everyday so she can see him.
When Dolly gives birth, Fred waits in the patient ward with his grandson. Dolly has a baby girl, and when Chummy comes to show the baby to him, she expresses her fears that she will not be a good enough mother to her own unborn baby. Fred replies that it is about being there for your child, which calms Chummy down considerably. When Chummy gives birth to her own baby boy, she names him Freddie in honour of Fred. Dolly names her daughter Samantha. Dolly then moves to Australia with her family.
In Series Four, Fred begins a relationship with a widowed shop keeper, Violet. Eventually he proposes, and she says yes. However upon sending the news to his elder daughter Marlene, she arrives home in Poplar to confront him about it. Immediately hostile, Marlene becomes irate when Fred mentions that he is selling his flat and moving in with Violet above her tailor shop. She later says it is because this is the place where she, her sister and her father came back together after the war, where they could piece together the pieces.
Marlene visits Violet's shop, and remarks how she once came to the shop with her mother and sister when she was a girl. She says that her father once told her that no one could ever replace her mother, to which Violet replies he is right and that no man could ever replace her husband. Marlene continues to intimidate Violent, insinuating that her father is only marrying Violet for financial security. Violet confronts Fred, asking him why he wants to marry her, and when he answers her honestly, Violet assumes that he is not marrying her for love and breaks off the engagement.
Heartbroken, and knowing Marlene had a hand in the downfall of his relationship, Fred mopes in his apartment, so much in fact, that Marlene leaves to stay with a friend. When Chummy comes by to see him, he is at first brisk and not wanting to talk, but he warms up to her eventually. Chummy also brings Marlene by to talk it out with Fred, and Marlene realises she's been selfish. She goes to Violet's shop and tells her "my mum would tan my hide" if she let her father be unhappy.
Moved, Violet reconciles with Marlene and Fred and the two marry.
Though Fred is kind and warm hearted, when Tony Amos, a member of his defence corp (a local organisation which helps young men prepare for a Russian bomb) is homosexual, Fred becomes rather cold and dismisses Mr. Amos from the corp, telling the pleading Mr. Amos that their corp cannot have "criminals" among their ranks. However, he also adds "If it was down to me [he'd let Tony stay] but it ain't." This suggests that his belief that convicted homosexuals are criminals is a result from that being the normal accepted opinion at the time, and he actually feels some sympathy for Tony.
At the end of series 5, it is Fred who discovers that Sister Evangelina has passed away in her sleep. He enters the parlour where the Sister had taken to napping in an armchair by the fire, believing her to be resting. He makes pleasant conversation with her as he prepares to feed the fire, but loudly knocks over the rack of fire pokers. He profusely apologises, knowing the Sister hates loud noises, but when she does not respond or stir, Fred feels her hand and realises she has died. In grief, he removes his hat and sits with her a moment before alerting the other residents of Nonnatus House.
Later in Series 6, Fred's cousin passes away of a sudden, massive heart attack while attending church. She leaves behind her grown son, who she fiercely loved and protected because he has Down Syndrome. Her son followed a strict routine, but found it difficult to function when alone, so Fred volunteered to take in his young cousin. Violet was not happy about the idea, thinking he needed to be with people who knew better how to take care of him. One day, the young man turned on the gas and left the apartment, and Fred returned home to a dangerous apartment. Violet soon grew very attached to the boy, feeling like his second mother, and she was very upset when Fred decided it would be best to have him live with people his own age, as in a group home with other individuals with handicaps. Violet was resistant, but upon seeing how happy the boy was in the country side group home, with people his own age, where he can be somewhat independent, she realised it was for the better.
Towards the end of series 6, Violet enters menopause, causing her hot-flashes. Later, she confides in Fred that she feels like it's the end of her life as a mother, the end of her life as a young woman. Fred hugs and fans her, which makes her feel better. Later, Fred brings his cousin home from the group home with flowers, and Violet is very happy to see him. The young man is as well, and happily greets "Hello, mum!" The two embrace.