AN electrical engineer who helped to develop the first radar systems during the Second World War has died at the age of 101.
A devoted father and “true romantic”, René Eugene Bazin was instrumental in the research and development of Radio Direction Finding (RDF) for the defence of the country.
He started working on RDF, the basis of radar, at the international electronics, defence and telecommunications company, Plessey, in 1934.
Mr Bazin installed the aerial transmission units around the country and as far away as Iceland.
He moved to Falmouth in 1971 with his wife Maria, where he became an honorary life president of Cornwall Humanist Association (CHA).
A friend from the CHA, Linnea Glynne-Rule, described the electrical engineer as an “extremely lively and welcome host”.
She said: “He was extremely knowledgeable about radio and welding and his work would have made a big difference to the war effort. It meant that the German U-boats had to keep radio silence or they would be discovered.”
Her husband, Laurence Rule, said: “He was a very kindly man, very generous with his time.
“Equally he wasn’t one who was woolly with his thinking. He was always very clear and logical. And a man of enormous strength; even into his nineties his handshake would crush your hand.”
The Federation of High Frequency Welders made Mr Bazin honorary member in 1995 in recognition of his “invaluable contributions” to the development of the industrial processing of metals and plastics through high frequency power units.
Paying tribute to Mr Bazin on his 100th birthday, a former employee described him as “the greatest influence” on his life.
His 86-year-old widow, Maria Bazin, said: “René was a true romantic.
“I have kept the last four birthday cards he gave me before he became ill in 2005 to remind me that it is not the words in the cards but his true feelings for me which he expressed in writing therein.
“As a man he was unique. He was the most interesting companion at home and on our travels.”
Mr Bazin supported his parents financially for more than 30 years after his father became blind in 1932.
He was also a “devoted father” right up to the last few years before his peaceful death at Trevern Nursing Home on January 12, aged 101.
Nursing home manager Penny Green described him as a “bright spark” and “quite a character”, adding: “He always had something nice to say, with witty comments.”
Mr Bazin leaves a son, Bryan, daughter, Chérie Ambasna, and a grandchild, Sarika Ambasna.
The funeral service was held yesterday morning.