15 November 2013

Harold Keith Quinan

I really struggled with this search. It started when I received the WWII medals awarded to NX2788 Harold Keith Quinan from a fellow Army officer Major Wayne S.
Finding Harold's WWII nominal roll entry was the easiest part of this whole search. He was a very early enlistee having a service number of 2788. From the NSW Birth Death's and Marriage records I put together the large Quinn family tree. I could work out Harold's death but no birth. Not unusual but it caused confusion. Based on the names of other family members I contacted a descendant and the name Harold was not familiar to the family. Nothing made sense since the NOK from the nominal roll and the mother's name for Harold's death was the same as for the rest of the family. While sitting and staring at Harold's death registration I noticed it was for the same date as a name I assumed to be his brother's, Kenneth Hillary Quinan. I then focused on Kenneth.

What I then found were two WWI service records which are almost the same. The first is for Kenneth Harold Quinan which gives his parents as Norman and Florence and that he was born in New York on 15 September 1898. This would make him over 18 when he enlisted for WWI. The service record is not complete. The second is for Kenneth Hillary Quinan once again with Norman and Florence as his parents. The record shows that he was also born in New York on 2 January 1900. Even though his parents give permission for him to enlist, late in 1918, they ask that he not be sent over seas until he reached 19.
An examination of the hand written parts that the soldier filled in on the form are identical hand writing. I believe that Kenneth Harold and Kenneth Hillary are the same boy who raised his age on two occasions to enlist. In reality Kenneth Hillary was born in 1902 in NSW.
Now to WWII. There is no record of a Harold Keith until WWII and the records gives his next of kin as Florence and his berth place is Warialda which is the same as Kenneth's from the BDM. I'm convinced they are all one and the same.
Kenneth Hillary's death notice does not mention any children so it is a nephew of Kenneth/Harold who I'll send the medals to.
Several members of the Quinan family also served in WWII
Thanks Wayne for the medals and thanks Raylee for the additional Quinan family information.
The returned medal tally is now 1381.

Very early issue Stars were unnamed. Soldiers were later given the option to return them for official naming. It would appear that Kenneth/Harold chose to have his privately engraved.
A brother of  Kenneth/Harold was Squadron Leader G J Quinan who was also an early enlistee for WWII. He was also the CO of 4 Squadron.
Another brother served in the same battalion as Kenneth/Harold, this was NX20143 Claude Brian Quinan. Their father also enlisted as N106405 Norman Frank Quinan. This photo is of Kenneth/Harold and his father Norman (on the left).

1 comment:

  1. You wouldn't want then to all be easy now would you ...

    Congratulations :)