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Kenneth Bingham Quinan Part 4

By April 13th, 2022No Comments

Quinan’s later life

At the end of the War, Quinan was 40 years old. He was offered a knighthood which he turned down (as an American, he didn’t think it was appropriate). He was made a Companion of Honour on the same day as General Smuts. He also received official thanks from the House of Commons and a gift of £10,000. In 1919, he returned to South Africa. His work was clearly held in the highest estimation and praise was showered upon him as can be seen below. Photograph below shows Quinan in later life.

“The unique professional knowledge derived from many years of technical experience, the unremitting work of a powerful and vigorous mind, and the irradiating influence of a great, genial and unselfish personality were unreservedly put at the disposal of the British Empire. An atmosphere of good fellowship and of equal comradeship in work pervaded every branch. Everyone who came under the influence of Mr Quinan was stimulated to put forth his best in the general cause.” – Article in Nature Journal, 1920


“It would be hard to point to anyone who did more to win the war than Kenneth Bingham Quinan.” – David Lloyd George


Below: Quinan was given a solid gold brick on retiring along with the words “from one old brick to another”.

KBQ’s timeline after the war

In 1917 Quinan was appointed to the Commission of Chemical Trades after the War. Churchill offered him a position in the Ministry of Munitions but he declined this offer and many others.


In 1919 he returned to his old farm in South Africa as a consultant


In 1922 he helped found and became the first Vice President of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (now the Royal Institute of Chemical Engineers). The main aim for this was to disseminate the information gathered during the War.


31st December 1923 married Jean Pargiter. They had two sons


In 1924 KBQ retired to his fruit farm ‘Bizweni’ in Somerset West where he built a laboratory and dedicated himself to grape production. He also enjoyed big game hunting (especially lions).


In 1942 KBQ was invited by the British Government be Senior Representative in South Africa for Chemical Defence Matters. He worked tirelessly in munitions manufacture again.


11am 26th January 1948 KBQ collapsed and died at his desk in his office at the age of 69.


You can read the first three parts here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

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