Compiler of the Story of
After marrying 'Peggy', Margaret Jean McCowan, in 1940, Eric Lanning, a Londoner, took on the task of recording current family reminiscences in order to assemble a coherent account of this branch of the McCowans of Cumnock, Ayrshire.
Following many years of soldiering and administrating in Africa and India, Eric and Peggy eventually returned to the United Kingdom. It was then the time to look deeper into the family history, to trace military and other day-to-day records relating to Peggy's Grandfather. In 1854, at the age of 17, William McCowan had left Scotland to see the world by enlisting in the Royal North British Fusiliers, the 21st Foot.
During the last forty years Eric's persistent research amongst national archives, military museums, libraries, institutes etc in England and Scotland has added much to a colourful and romantic picture.
Eric's perseverance has taken him to a number of locations - if not all - where William McCowan served, first with the 21st Foot and then with the West India Regiment, in Scotland, Ireland, England, Malta, Grenada, Trinidad, Barbados, St. Vincent, all important milestones in the McCowan Story. His major regret is not having had the opportunity to visit Georgetown, Guyana where William had finally settled from where his large family would expand back to the United Kingdom and to Canada and the USA.
At 90, Eric's research still continues.