Ronald Kidd

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Ronald Hubert Kidd (11 July 1889 – 13 May 1942) was a British civil rights campaigner.

Portrait of Ronald Kidd in 1940 by photographer Howard Coster

Born in London, England, the son of surgeon Leonard Joseph Kidd, grandson of doctor Joseph Kidd, and nephew of doctors Percy Kidd and Walter Aubrey Kidd, Ronald Hubert Kidd had a variety of jobs before finding his vocation as a campaigner against injustices in 1930s and 1940s Britain.

In 1934, angered by Police responses to hunger marchers, he founded the Council for Civil Liberties (later the National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) and now known as Liberty), which included such figures as E. M. Forster as its President, and Clement Attlee, Aneurin Bevan, Havelock Ellis, Aldous Huxley, J. B. Priestley, Bertrand Russell, and H. G. Wells among its vice-presidents.

Forster's funeral oration to Kidd was included in his collection of essays, Two Cheers for Democracy,[1] and concludes with the description:

[T]here was in our friend something of the Ancient Roman, the Tribune of the People, who contents that the Res Publica should be the possession of all [...] There is here something that suggests the grandeur and the sternness of certain heroes of the ancient world, and their strife for an individual liberty compatible with civic righteousness. May his example remain with us! May we continue the fight that is never done!

Kidd continued to administer the Council's affairs, despite serious illness, until his death in 1942.[2]


  • Mark Pottle, ‘Kidd, Ronald Hubert (1889–1942)’. Retrieved 17 November 2007, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [with numerous further references, including:]
  • Sylvia Scaffardi, Fire Under the Carpet: Working for Civil Liberties in the 1930s (London, 1986)


  1. ^ Forster, E M (1972). Two Cheers for Democracy. London: Edward Arnold. p. 47. ISBN 0713156589.
  2. ^ Forster, E M (1972). Two Cheers for Democracy. London: Edward Arnold. p. 46. ISBN 0713156589.