Mieczyslaw Kipp of Calgary passed away at the age of 90 years at the Rockyview Hospital on February 1st, 2007. He was born in Przemysl, Poland on July 16th, 1916.
Always a Polish patriot, he joined the Polish army as a professional soldier and was called to defend his homeland on September 3rd, 1939 when German forces invaded. As a captain in the Polish Army he took part in many battles against the enemy. He was fighting his way towards the Polish Romanian border when he was captured by Russian forces. He was interned by the Russians in Siberia from 1940 to 1942. In 1942 he was released, and Mieczyslaw led his men from Siberia, through the Russian Republics into Syria, and finally to Palestine where they joined the Allied Forces.
Mieczyslaw and his men served under British Command in the Middle East. The Free Polish Forces were assembled at that time, and Mieczyslaw served in the 2nd Polish Corp in the Italian campaign fighting at Monte Cassino, Ancona and Bologna. His outstanding bravery led to the award of many Polish and British war medals. In addition to leading his men into battle, he served as Commander of the Lanesano School for Non-Commissioned Officers in Italy. After the German surrender Mieczyslaw remained in Italy until the end of 1946, when the Polish Corp was transferred to the UK for demobilization.
While in Italy he married his wife Halina, and joy was added to his life when their first child Bozena was born. He decided to settle his young family in Bradford, UK. His happiness was increased when his son Joseph was born in 1947. In Bradford he was instrumental as a founding member of a Branch of the Polish Combatants Association. Working with a group of volunteers, he worked to create the thriving Branch No 451 of the SPK, which still exists today.
He was very committed to life in Poland, but as a strong anti-communist was unable to return and so he became involved in different Polish organizations to ensure that the next generation did not forget their culture. He worked with the Church and the Polish School in Bradford, where he was the Headmaster. He was also involved in creating the Polish Children’s Sports Club, Drama Group and Traditional Dancing Club. He was active in the production of the Polish Nationalist Newspapers and a contributor to Radio Free Europe, which beamed its programs to those oppressed behind the Iron Curtain.
After he retired in 1981, he elected to immigrate to Canada to be with his daughter (Zena Till) and her family in Calgary. He arrived in Canada in March of 1982 to be close to Zena and their grandchildren Adam and Andrew, where he and Halina have lived for the last twenty-five years.
While in Calgary he was involved for several years with the activities of the SPK Branch No 18 until ill health prevented him from continuing with those activities. His work with the SPK in UK and Canada was recognized when he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
Mieczyslaw will be deeply missed by his wife Halina – they had been together for sixty-one years. He will also be lovingly missed by his grandchildren Adam and Andrew, and his son in law, Ken Till. In Europe there are many who grieve for his parting including the Jakolew Family (Hanna, Gwidon, Maria and Kasia) in Sweden, the Ebbs Family in the UK, as well as many nieces and nephews in Przemysl and Krakow in Poland.
Sadly Mieczyslaw was predeceased by both his children Zena and Joe, but they will now be reunited in heaven, and that thought brought him joy and hope as he realized that his time on earth was ending. He is also predeceased by his three brothers and his parents.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Polish Catholic Church – Our Lady Queen of Peace Polish Catholic Church (2111 Uxbridge Drive N.W.) on Friday, February 9th, 2007 at 10:30 a.m. with the Rev. Stanislaw Poszwa S.Ch, presiding. Graveside Service will follow at Queen’s Park Cemetery. Please forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation directly to the Calgary Health Trust – Rockyview General Hospital, 800, 11012 Macleod Trail S.E., Calgary, AB T2J 6A5. Secure online donations honouring Mieczyslaw can be made at this web address: www.thetrust.ca
Mieczyslaw will always be remembered for his kindness and love by his family, relatives and friends.Print This Obituary & Condolences