The Darkness Within – Excerpt 7

The Darkness Within – Excerpt 7

  My only option left was to get out of Hungary, before the Russians caught me and killed me too. With that thought in mind I headed to the Austrian border. From Austria I headed in to Holland, to Rotterdam where I managed to work my passage on board a ship heading for England.

On landing in England, I immediately declared myself as a political refugee, stated that the Russians probably had a price on my head. I was placed in a detention camp for three months, while my story was checked and re-checked. I was annoyed by this, but the Cold War was at its height, I suppose I was viewed as a possible spy / saboteur.

Once they had proved my identification beyond doubt, I was summoned and informed that I would be moving to a City called Nottingham. I would be employed in a coal mine called Gedling, A few miles north of the City.

For some inexplicable reason known only to themselves, the British seemed to have this conception that all Hungarians were miners. When in actual fact we are more of a farming Community. There are some mines but nowhere near the amount that there are in Britain.

I was sent to Nottingham with a fellow Hungarian, By the name of Imre Tankowicz who had worked as a miner. Imre took me under his wing and explained what it was like to work underground. I’d be a liar to say that I was thrilled with the thought, but as Imre explained there was a compliment of men to each shift, so I wouldn’t be alone in the dark.

Both Imre and I were soon accepted by our fellow miners, Imre became known as Jimmy the tank, I was never quite sure if it was his stocky build, or his prodigious thirst for the local ale. I became known as Tibby Jerks, mainly because they hadn’t a clue how pronounce Tibor Szerkes. Neither Imre or myself had problems with this, we were accepted and that was all that mattered.

(C) Damian Grange 2018

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