Kingsley Charles Dunham

Kingsley Charles Dunham

Kingsley Charles Dunham

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Sir Kingsley Charles Dunham FRS (1910–2001) was one of the leading British geologists and mineralogists of the 20th century. He was a Professor of Geology at the University of Durham from 1950-71. He was later Professor Emeritus from 1967-2001. He was director of the British Geological Survey from 1967-75.

Early life

Dunham was born in Sturminster Newton, Dorset and moved at an early age with his family to Durham. He attended the Durham Johnston Comprehensive School and the University of Durham, graduating with a degree in geology in 1930 at a time when Arthur Holmes was professor. A gifted musician, Dunham was Organ Scholar at Hatfield College during his undergraduate days. Following graduation, he pursued research into the Pennine Orefield of the North of England, under the supervision of Arthur Holmes. He graduated with a PhD in 1932.


Following a brief spell at Harvard University, he returned to the UK as a geologist for the British Geological Survey, working on the iron ores of Cumbria. This came in useful during WW2 where he was involved in the investigation of the mineral resources of the North of England. This work was later published in the classic volume, The Geology of the North Pennine Orefield.

Dunham returned to Durham University in 1950 as Professor of Geology at a time when that (and other UK departments) were undergoing a period of rapid expansion. During his tenure he supervised the drilling of the...
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