The Hungarian 1956 refugee

having come from rural poverty and making a living collecting water from ancient wells for the local vineyards using a one-eyed pony called Chepi and a rickety cart………….The Red Cross helped Peter and his mother to reach England, where they were housed in a barracks near Tidworth, in Wiltshire. The only words of English he knew were “cowboy” and “Times”. Eventually they moved to London and were given accommodation in a disused church in Wapping, close to the site where he would later work for The Sunday Times.

He got an interview to study at Campion Hall, the Jesuit college in Oxford, and took along his father’s book, a discussion of which led to the offer of a place. In return for his education he worked in the kitchen.

The English system does manage to get some things right, sometimes. Actually, rather more often than most other places….

7 thoughts on “The Hungarian 1956 refugee”

  1. Surely the education was free and he worked in the kitchen for money to live on? Maybe it was different for a refugee but you didn’t pay for university if you were a Brit, at least.

    (I wonder whether people succeed ‘despite adversity’ as opposed to because of it. And succeeding despite an easy life would be more difficult.)

  2. Was just watching Richard Burton interviewed by Dick Cavett on YouTube. Apparently he was offered a place at Oxford when he was sixteen, though I think it was a special arrangement because of the war.

  3. ‘The English system does manage to get some things right, sometimes.’

    Not this time. No government employee was required.

  4. Mr Murphy believes government must be involved in everything.

    John Peters success independent of government is not supposed to happen.

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