Czech and Mate – Fred Austin

It was fitting on Valentines Day to be joined by Fred Austin and his wife Margaret and to hear their real life love story which is now the subject of a book – Czech and Mate.

Born into a Jewish family in pre war Czechoslovakia Fred was fortunate with the help of a distant cousin in Austria to secure passage to England under the protection of an English school teacher. It was the last that he was to see of this mother and sisters who were all to become victims of Nazi extermination.

Overcoming hardship whilst under the care of his rescuer Fred went on to attend Leicester University where he was to meet Margaret, his future wife. Fred was to qualify as a teacher and eventually to become Head of Dudley Grammar School. On his retirement from the Grammar School Fred became chief officer for Age Concern in Dudley. It is testament to Fred’s character that there is no hint of bitterness as he recounts his past life and as a longstanding member of the Rotary Club of Dudley he has devoted himself to the service of others.