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Jack Kidd CEng MIET, February 1922 - February 2017

4 May 2017
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Jack Kidd CEng MIET

Jack Kidd, who lived to the grand old age of 95, has recently passed away.

Polish by birth, Jack’s journey from Eastern Europe to studying Electrical Engineering at South Bank University, London, was a long one.

 

Born in 1922 in Poland, Kasimierz Wosinski moved with his family to northern France responding to a French appeal for miners, after the shortage following WW1.

 

Kasimierz developed an aptitude for languages, speaking Polish, French, German and English and passed his matriculation at the University of Lille with flying colours.  As a student, he had ties with the French Liberation Army before joining the Polish First Corps in 1944.

 

Kasimierz first set foot in the UK when he was sent to the RAF Communications Centre in Findo Gask, Scotland, where he helped gather important information about German movements in Scandinavia.  Whenever asked what he did during the war, he would reply, “It’s classified!”

 

Only after this, in 1945, when he moved to the Polish Resettlement Corp in London, could Kasimierz begin studying Electrical Engineering at South Bank University.  Newly qualified, he worked at Morgan Crucible in technical sales, travelling extensively in Europe, using his language skills. Based in North London, he married Suzanne in 1949 and become a father to Monique two years later.

 

Then, in 1952, aged 30, Kasimierz Wosinski made the momentous decision to change his name to simple Jack Kidd – Jack, because his colleagues couldn’t pronounce his Polish name, and Kidd being Suzanne’s maiden name. When Morgan Crucible relocated to Swansea, Jack took up a new position in south London at Watliff’s, manufacturer of electric motors. 

 

When he finally retired at the age of 68, Jack continued as a freelance doing technical translations.  He travelled to America and Europe to visit friends from his army and student days and won many a competition to attend sporting events around the world.