Back in 1983 the houses where I live were still being built. The bricklayers were laying bricks at a phenomenal rate and eventually they got to the plot next door. With them was a hod carrier, a small tough guy, whose job was to load clutches of bricks on a shoulder-carrier and get them to the brickeys asap.
He spoke English with a thick accent and because the job involved little intellectual capacity they made fun of him.
I knew he was Polish and wanted to know more, so got him into our kitchen on a tea-break.
“When did you leave Poland?”.
“1939, just before the Germans came.”
“What happened when you got to England.”
“They gave me a Spitfire.”