Kosky Rose

Rose Kosky

Born in London’s East End, the third of four sisters and a brother in a close Jewish family. Her parents were working-class Polish immigrants. Rose won a scholarship, but the grammar school was too distant, and required an expensive uniform, so she had to attend Mile End Central School. Her political education, in common with many young working-class people in the area, came from Young Communist League meetings. There, Marxist and socialist ideas were discussed along with classic Russian literature.

At 19, she married fellow young communist, Maurice "Mo" Kosky, as he was about to be sent to war. In 1946 he returned, emaciated, from the Burmese jungle. She, meanwhile, started work in the Ministry of Information typing pool as a temp to the Soviet section, later becoming co-ordinator and editorial assistant. In June 1941, the Soviet Union entered the war. Rose’s role was to help the department supply British news to a Moscow news sheet, the allies, and, via telexes from the Soviet Union, to provide favourable stories for the British press.

After the war, she worked with a range of bodies promoting women’s issues, travelling to Europe-wide meetings and conferences. In 1949 Rose attended the World Committee of Peace Partisans’ conference, organised by the French Communist Party. In 1953, she joined a women’s delegation that went from Moscow to Tashkent. As the first employee of the National Assembly of Women (NAW), founded on March 8 1952, she helped re-establish International Women’s Day. After the NAW, she worked for the fundraising office of a charity for handicapped children.


She was very close to Connie Seifert and it was at the Seifert’s north London home that she met the American actor and radical Paul Robeson and the architect Erno Goldfinger. Rose was also a friend of Dora Russell. In the 1960s, she took GCEs, and later a BEd in psychology, at London�s Sydney Webb College. After teaching, in the mid-1970s she joined an institution specializing in children with behavioural difficulties. She collaborated with psychologists on research and edited the subsequent research. Rose Kosky was a member of the Communist Party from the 1930s until the 1980s, when she joined the Labour Party. She retired in 1987 and died April 23rd 2003, aged 80.

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