We were very sad to hear recently of the death of Tom Gondris. Tom arrived in the UK in 1939 as a child refugee aged 9 on one of the last Kindertransport trains to escape Czechoslovakia before the outbreak of World War II. Having waved goodbye to his parents at Prague railway station, he never saw them again. He went on to spend the last 50 years of his life in Ipswich, where he served as a Borough Councillor and received an MBE for services to heritage and conservation. Tom was an inspiration to us, and we are very grateful that some years ago he allowed us to sit down with him and record his remarkable story for use in our Refugee Stories booklet alongside those of other refugees who have made Suffolk their home over the years. Last December in Harwich we commemorated the 80th anniversary of the arrival of the first Kindertransport train, and Tom was very much in our thoughts then. We know his life story and achievements touched many people and we will continue to remember him as a wonderful person and fine example of what those arriving in the UK as refugees can go on to accomplish.
You can read the Ipswich Star obituary to Tom here.